“Germans do potatoes in general very well,” says Gilles, who now lives in Munich and has celebrated many an Oktoberfest there. “Knödel seem kind of rubbery. You don’t really think it’s potato when you first see it, but it’s tasty.” But he might be surprised to find that this delicious living-inspired version of Bavarian potato dumplings is made with a combination of potato and cauliflower, because as anyone who’s eaten cauliflower gnocchi knows, the low-carb vegetable is a great way to lighten up starch-heavy foods (and Biergarten menus).
The original version of these snacks is so popular that it even gets its own food fest: Knödelfest, which happens in September in Austria, about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Munich. If delicious living threw a Knödelfest, these dumplings would definitely be on the menu, served simply as snacks with sliced radishes and fresh parsley or dill, or topped with butter, beer gravy, or mushroom sauce.
The dumpling test
You can test one dumpling by shaping it and then boiling it before shaping the rest. If the water is lower than a boil and it still falls apart, add more starch to the batter before shaping another ball and testing again.
- 1 lb Russet or other starchy potatoes
- 1/2 head cauliflower florets only
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil or butter
- 1 inch slice rye or gluten-free bread cut into 3/4cubes
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 Tbsp minced parsley divided
- 1 1/4 tsp salt divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper divided
- 1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 egg or 1 Tbsp ground chia seed
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 4 radishes sliced, to garnish
- In large pot, boil potatoes in their jackets for 10 minutes, then add cauliflower florets and cook until a fork pierces potatoes easily and cauliflower is quite soft, about 5 minutes depending on size of potatoes. Drain well and let cool.
- In large skillet, heat oil or butter over medium heat. Add bread and stir until toasted and golden. Remove to medium bowl. To the pan, add spinach along with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds, until wilted. Transfer to bowl with bread and stir in 1 Tbsp minced parsley.
- Peel potatoes and press through potato ricer or the largest side of box grater into large bowl. Repeat with cauliflower. Stir together grated potatoes, cauliflower, starch, ground chia seeds or egg, nutmeg, and remaining 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Let rest for 10 minutes if using chia seeds.
- Divide dough into 12 tightly shaped balls. Press your thumb into each ball and add a crouton and some spinach. (Do not overstuff your dumplings or they might fall apart.) Cover filling with dumpling dough to seal.
- Bring large pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low (don’t keep it at a boil or dumplings will fall apart) and add half the dumplings. Once they rise to the top of the boiling water, cook for 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove dumplings to plate and repeat with remaining balls.
- Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve with sliced radishes or mushroom sauce.
Per serving: 123 calories; 3 g protein; 2 g total fat (0 g sat. fat); 25 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 395 mg sodium