spinat-schafskäse knödel

or, spinach-feta dumplingspain de mie, cubes
pain de mie | or any day-old sliced white bread
onions and garlic
cipollini onion | garlic
spinach, bread, eggs, milk, garlic, onions
bread | milk | garlic & onions | eggs | spinach
plus feta
dumpling knödel

when i began this recipe, i was afraid that this hearty meal would feel incongruous with all the warm weather we've been having in new york. but as i began to mix the ingredients, folding golden eggs into just-warm spinach, i decided it was the perfect dish to welcome in spring. we're not yet in strawberry season, after all.

these austrian dumplings were my favorite thing i ate on my trip last week. i ordered them from the adorably bashful server at fruhstuckssalon augustin in vienna and i've been thinking of them ever since.

i cobbled together a recipe from a combination of translated websites and personal taste and i'm hoping i've approximated the measurements correctly. the good news is, the beauty of the dish seems to be in its simplicity. limited precision necessary.

1 cipollini onion
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)6-8 slices pain de mie (i got mine from our local bakery, but any day-old white loaf will do)
1 package frozen spinach - about 10 ounces (you can use fresh, too. just remember you'll need a lot)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 cup whole milk
3 eggs
7 ounces (roughly) feta cheese
butter, for melting
grana padano cheese, for grating

1. remove crusts and cube 6-8 slices white bread
2. in a heavy skillet melt a pad of butter and saute diced garlic and onion until golden.
3. add defrosted and drained spinach to skillet, pour in one cup of milk and heat until just warm
4. pour spinach and milk mixture over cubed bread in a large bowl
5. stir in 3 eggs and breadcrumbs. let sit for at least 10 minutes.
6. add feta cheese to mixture. season with salt and pepper.
7. once mixed, shape evenly sized dumplings with slightly wet hands. add more breadcrumbs if dumplings don't form easily.
8. bring a pot of salted water to boil. lower the temp so water is barely boiling and place dumplings into pot. expect some errant pieces to loosen themselves from the dumplings. don't panic: a floating spinach leaf or two never hurt anyone. dumplings are ready when they float to the top.
9. remove from pot and serve with a spoonful of brown butter and a shaving or two of grana padano.
10. enjoy.

postcript: tiny blue bowl by asya. more here.
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