Beet and Ricotta Dumplings from Evan Kleiman


Let’s face it, this time of year is when we have to pull out all the stops on getting creative with what is in season in New England. Beets have become a personal challenge of some sorts and there is this one recipe that both eludes me and intrigues me. This will be my third attempt at creating these beet dumplings. They remind me of gnocchi and I believe are meant to be pillowy and fluffy and light - not how I think of eating beets ever or at all. Beets feel so OF the ground. It’s their earthy flavor I am sure - so distinct and much more grounding than other root vegetables. It really tastes like soil. Like dirt. Like the earth. They are not vehicles for other flavors the way potatoes or turnips can be vehicles.

I keep coming back to this recipe and I am not sure why. The first attempt was an epic fail, barely edible. The second attempt, there was a glimmer of hope. But everything about this recipe is the antithesis of my usual ‘get in and get out’ approach to cooking. It requires planning ahead. It requires reading the recipe several times over to realize you need to plan ahead. It requires just a few ingredients and a lot of technique. At least, I am guessing there is a lot of technique involved here because I keep messing it up and it’s a pretty simple recipe.

I don’t even know what these are supposed to taste like. But I am going to try again as after all, it IS a double whammy seasonal recipe after all - the beets and the basket ricotta (which becomes a mission of its own trying to seek it out and Oh hey New England - local guys Narragansett Creamery sometimes have it around Easter!!!)