Butterbean and greens dumplings

Butterbean and spinach dumplings

Butterbean and spinach dumplings

Dear Sir and or Madam: I am writing to apply for the job/ the grant/ the fellowship/ or to submit a story for publication. I realize that roughly a million other people are applying for the position and that they’re at least as skilled and qualified as I am, and all just as passionate about attaining the position/grant/fellowship/publication. I realize that I have absolutely no qualities to recommend me over these other million people, and that they’ve probably graduated more recently with higher honors, and have probably worked in the field some time in the past decade, as I have not done. They probably have more powerful friends to recommend them, more scintillating personalities and better networking skills. They’re probably better at ironing their clothes, being team players and using the latest computer programs. They probably smile more often and more convincingly, they’re probably bubbly. They’re probably effervescent. However, I hope you will take the following information into consideration when making your final decision: My dog really likes me. No, she hasn’t told me so in so many words. She hasn’t put it in writing, and I can’t give you her contact information so that you can determine the veracity of my statement. But it’s true, I tell you! You should see how happy she is when I come home from work or even from a walk around the block. She leaps! She sings! She wags her tail so vigorously you’d think it would fall off! If I’m in the house, she’s likely to be near by me, and I’m fairly sure it’s not just because I’m always eating or playing with food. When I sleep, she’s always practically on top of me, and when I wake and come downstairs, she does too! Sure, she likes everyone she meets, and I can’t guarantee that she likes me more than anybody else, but it’s not a contest, is it? Oh, it is. It is a contest. The whole world is a competition. I see. And maybe everybody’s dog loves them as much as I think she loves me. It’s probably true, I understand. I’ve decided not to attach my resum√©, because despite a promising beginning and lots of opportunities, it seems to taper off somewhere in the middle and the last decade or so is frankly… Well, instead I’ve attached some pictures of my dog! And proof that she has her license and rabies shot! If you need any more information about her, or would like to set up an interview with her, just let me know! She won’t mind, she loves meeting new people. She’ll tell you all about how good I am at going for walks and napping and putting kibble in her bowl and singing every song ever written as if it was about her. Well, she would tell you if, you know… In summation thank you for your consideration, and I hope you’ll look at this whole process from my dog’s point of view, if only for an hour or two.

butterbean and greens dumplings

butterbean and greens dumplings

We’ve had more icy weather, the boys are home from school for the second time in three days. It’s a long long winter. I felt like eating something plump and savory and comforting, and that’s just what these little dumplings are. They’re fairly simple: kale, spinach, butter beans and cheese baked in a crispy crust. Obviously, they aren’t steamed yeasted dumplings, and they’re probably not officially dumplings in any sense of the word, but that’s the name that their shape suggested to me.

Here’s I Wanna be Your Dog by Uncle Tupelo. I love this version!


2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, frozen

In a large bowl combine the flour, salt and pepper. Grate in the butter, and mix with a fork until coarse and crumbly. Add just enough ice water to pull everything together into a workable dough. Wrap in foil and chill for at least half an hour.


1/2 bunch kale, washed and de-stemmed and roughly chopped
3 cups packed spinach, washed and de-stemmed
1 t olive oil
1 plump clove garlic, minced
1 t rosemary, minced or crumbled
1 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
splash of white wine
1 1/2 cups grated or finely chopped mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the kale and boil for about five minutes until it’s wilted but bright. Drain and run under cold water. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can and chop quite finely. Chop the spinach.

In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, rosemary and stir and fry for a moment or two. Add the butter beans and stir and fry until the pan is quite dry. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the greens, stir and fry until the spinach is wilted and everything is coated with flavor. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the beans, greens, cheese, and all of the egg except for about 1 tablespoon. Mix well and season.

Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly butter a baking sheet.

Break the dough into six balls. Roll each to be about 1/8th inch thick and six inches wide. Drop a big spoonful of filling in the center. Pull the edges up to the center and seal them. Place the dumplings on the baking sheet, and brush with the beaten egg.

Bake for about half an hour, until the dumplings are golden and crispy.


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