My DH hates the word “casserole.” So, needless to say, he wasn’t too excited when I announced that my dish of choice for the week was “Vegetable Casserole with Herb Dumplings.” His response: “There are three words in the title of that dish that I do not like.” (Those being vegetable, casserole, and dumplings, in case you were curious. I’m fairly certain the word “with” doesn’t bother him nor does the word “herb” since he uses them quite frequently in his own cooking.)
But, really, my husband’s reaction to the dish is beside the point. The point is that I tried and almost successfully made a new dish. I got the recipe for the dish from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide. So, without further ado, here it is:
Vegetable Casserole with Herbed Dumplings
from Vegetarian Cooking: A Commonsense Guide
1 TSBP olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons paprika
1 large all-purpose potato, chopped
1 large carrot, sliced (we sliced up some baby carrots)
1-14oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
1.5 cups vegetable stock/broth ( I just used water)
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
2.5 cups broccoli florets (I used less….you know, Dan just LOVES broccoli…)
2 zucchini, thickly sliced
2 TBSP sour cream (I used light)
1 cup self-rising flour
3/4 oz cold butter chopped
2 tsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 tsp thyme
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/3 cup milk
*I used dried herbs for all of these and cut the measurements about in half.
1. Preheat the over to 400 F. Heat olive oil in a LARGE saucepan (and deep, if possible). Saute the onion over medium for 5 minutes (or until soft). Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
2. Add the potato, carrot, tomato, and stock. Bring to a boil, the reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sweet potato, broccoli, and zucchini and simmer for a further 10 minutes (or until all veggies are tender)
3. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and then using a floured surface, divide the dough into 8 balls. (Now, the book gives crazy details but this is basically what I did!)
4. Stir the sour cream into the casserole. Transfer to a large baking dish (8 cup) and top with the dumplings. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dumplings are golden and cooked. Serve hot!
Overall, the recipe turned out well (I thought). The veggies cooked well and were tender and not mushy. The dumplings were the big issue for me. They didn’t really cook up the way I would have liked them to. However, I think part of the problem might have been that I didn’t have self-rising flour (and didn’t want to spend the money to buy yet another kind of flour–we already have white, wheat, bread, and rye flour in the house). I read up on dumplings a little (I’ll admit–on Wikipedia) and it seems like the British version at least relies on that rising agent to give them the right texture. Live and learn, right? Dan (oddly enough) didn’t seem to have a problem with the dumplings.
So, the verdict: I would make this again but make sure that I actually buy self-rising flour.