Barley and Grape Leaf Dumplings
My mother and I collaborated on the invention of these homey and delicious dumplings for a dinner party featuring Greek Stifado.
Makes6 to 8 servings
Cooking Methodbaking, poaching
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Taste and Texturecheesy, savory
- ¾ cup pearl barley
- 1 extra large egg yolk
- ¾ cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brine-packed grape leaves, rinsed, drained, and cut into fine julienne strips
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 extra large egg whites
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Cook the barley according to package directions until very tender. Drain and chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours.
Put the chilled barley in a food processor and process until smooth. Add the egg yolk, Monterey Jack, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and 1/3 cup of the flour; process just until mixed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the grape leaves, salt, and pepper.
Beat the egg whites until stiff, but not dry. Gently fold into the barley mixture along with another 1/3 cup of flour.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Using 2 spoons, shape about 2 heaping tablespoons of the barley dough into a small football shape, drop it into the flour, and coat it lightly. Transfer to the lined baking sheet and repeat the process until all the dough has been used.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop 6 to 8 dumplings at a time into the water and cook until they float to the top, about 1 minute. Remove the dumplings from the pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. When all the dumplings have been cooked, arrange them in a single layer in an ovenproof baking dish. Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese. (The dumplings may be prepared up to this point and refrigerated 1 to 2 days before baking.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Bake the dumplings until they are puffed and light golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve at once.
1990 Sarah Leah Chase