From Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Suppers
4 tsp olive oil
2 medium to large onions, sliced about ½ inch thick
¾ pound mushrooms, rinsed and sliced thickly on a diagonal
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 plump garlic clove, minced
½ large lemon
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
¾ cup milk, heated with 3 tbsp butter or oil
3 tbsp chopped parsley and tarragon
1. Make the mushroom stock. (You’ll need about 4 cups.) Once it’s simmering, bring a pot of water to a boil for the Brussels sprouts.
2. Heat the oil in a wide, non-stick skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until aromatic and nicely coloured, about 12 minutes.
3. Once the onions are a rich colour, raise the heat to high and add the mushrooms, herbs and garlic to the pan. Squeeze the lemon juice over the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are browned in places, 5 to 7 minutes, then reduce the heat to low.
4. Add a tsp of salt to the boiling water, then the Brussels sprouts along with any loose leaves.. Boil until nearly tender, 4 to 6 minutes, depending on size. Check by piercing them with a paring knife. Drain, then add them to the pan and pour in the mushroom stock. At this point you can turn off the heat and let the vegetables stand until you’re ready to make the dumplings.
5. For the dumplings, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, herbs and egg and stir quickly together with a fork. Add the dumpling batter by spoonfuls to the ragout, making 12 small dumplings. You’ll have extra batter, but don’t use it or the dish will be too bready. (It’s hard to make the batter in smaller amounts.) Cover the pan with tented foil, bring everything to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Serve in soup plates, with 3 dumplings in each bowl.
Salad for protein
As there is little protein in this ragout, you may want to serve with a simple salad of canned lentils or chickpeas or both, rinsed and placed in a bowl with some chopped green onions and grated carrots for colour. Toss with a Curry Vinaigrette, which you can make by mixing equal parts mayo and olive oil, 2 tsp curry powder, a tbsp. of fresh lemon juice and some chopped cilantro if you have any, or parsley.