Turkey and pumpkin dumplings with Grana Padano watercress dip

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Turkey and pumpkin dumplings with Grana Padano watercress dip


. Difficulty: Medium . Serves: 4 people . Preparation time: 1 hour . Anniversary: Christmas


Use a generous amount of Grana Padano 9-16 months to get the right buttery texture and serve it with a peppery watercress dip. All you need for total happiness is to add a glass of Prosecco.


For the dumplings:
100g white bread such as ciabatta, with the crust removed and torn into pieces 
100ml milk
500g turkey mince
300g butternut squash, peeled and grated
100g sultanas, soaked overnight then drained
2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
130g Grana Padano 9-16 months, grated
5g griotte onion or spring onion tops, finely chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil 
Fried sage leaves, to garnish
For the watercress dip:
150g watercress 
10g Grana Padano Riserva 24 months, grated
1 tbsp pine kernels
2 tsp salt
100ml extra virgin olive oil


Mix the bread pieces with the milk and let this soak for a few minutes until the bread has absorbed all of the liquid.  In a large bowl combine the turkey mince, grated butternut squash, eggs, Grana Padano, chopped spring onion and soaked bread. Season well with salt and pepper and mix until well blended. 
Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up, then form into small 3cm round patties. 
Prepare the watercress dip. Pick the watercress leaves, discarding the larger tougher stems. Blanch half of the leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, drain, run under cold water and squeeze dry. Place in a tall measuring cup with the rest of the watercress, Grana Padano, pine kernels, salt and pepper and about 50ml of olive oil. Using a hand held mixer start blending, slowly adding the rest of the oil, until you get a creamy paste. Set this aside.
Heat two large frying pans, pour 2 tablespoons of oil in each and gently fry the dumplings for about 5 minutes on each side until well golden and slightly crusted. 
Serve warm with the watercress dip, garnished with fried sage leaves.
Francesco Mazzei