Every once in a while I find myself bewildered by an item in my CSA. Last week I was puzzled by parsnips. They are awfully funny looking, like weird white carrots with super long tails. They didn't seem too appealing, so it took me a little while to figure out exactly how to use them. I had heard about folks boiling and mashing them along with some potato. I figured once I'd gone that far I might as well put it all on the table and just make pierogies.
Like any good dumpling, pierogies are much improved by the use of handmade dough. Homemade pasta dough is actually not all that hard to make, once you get the hang of it. I find that my pasta is often done with construction just about the time my huge pasta pot comes to a boil. Of course, pierogies involve a few extra steps, like prepping the filling, and stuffing the dumplings, but hey, in for a penny, in for a pound.
Speaking of the filling, I think it would be awfully good all on its own, so if pierogies seem like too big a to-do, consider whipping up a batch of the filling to serve as a hearty side, or breakfast burrito filling.
Oh, and it just so happens that a friend of mine, Heather Santos of the blog, Midnite Chef, is teaching a class on pierogi making here in Austin on Saturday, April 20! Visit the class page to find out more, and to grab a ticket.
- 1 batch pasta dough (egg-based or vegan)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled
- 1 bunch parsnips
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Place the potatoes and parsnips in a pot of cold water, along with a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables become tender, about fifteen to thirty minutes.
- Drain the veggies, and set them aside. Rinse the pot, then return it to the stove along with the oil. Turn the heat onto medium. When the pot warms up, add the garlic, spring onions, and water. Cover, and sweat for 10 minutes.
- Add the potato and parsnip back to the pot and mash together with the garlic and onions. Add the seasoning, salt, and pepper, followed by the lemon juice. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
- Put a large pot of water (with a large pinch of salt) over high heat, covered, and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer until it's time to cook the peirogis.
- Roll the pasta dough until it is quite thin, around a 6 on a pasta machine, then cut out round pieces, using a biscuit cutter. Stuff each round with one or two tablespoons of the potato mixture, then fold over and pinch shut. Place the dumplings on a sheet of wax paper while you assemble the rest.
- Bring the pot of water back up to a rolling boil, then drop in your pierogies. Stir them gently so that they don't stick to the bottom. Boil them for about five minutes, then drain and shock with cold water.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add another two tablespoons of oil once the pan gets hot. Place the pierogies on the skillet, flat side down, and let them fry until they become brown and crispy on the bottom.
- Serve right away with sour cream or plain greek yogurt, caramelized onions, and a tasty green veggie, like peas or sauteed spinach.