Susan Feniger's Ukrainian Spinach Dumplings with Lemon Marmalade and Sour Cream

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Ukrainian Spinach Dumplings with Lemon Marmalade and Sour Cream. [Photograph: Jennifer May]

Small, moon-shaped dumplings called varenyky are a common sight in Eastern Europe. While a tender, rich dough is a given, this style of dumpling can be filled with anything from potatoes to pickled fish. Varenyky are killer comfort food, especially with sour cream.

Susan Feniger's version in Street Food takes what could be a heavy appetizer and brightens it up with summer vegetables. Instead of overloading the dumplings with meat or starch, she brings zucchini and spinach together with earthy potatoes and tangy feta cheese. To top them off, Feniger makes a genius move and serves her varenyky with bright and bitter lemon marmalade. The lemon cuts the richness of the buttery dough, highlighting the herbaceous spinach, sweet zucchini, and briny feta.

Why I Picked This Recipe: Zucchini is overflowing out of markets right now, and these dumplings seemed an excellent way to work through the bumper crop.

What Worked: The addition of the lemon marmalade was brilliant, transforming a simply good dumpling into a resplendent bite.

What Didn't: Mixing and rolling the dry, crumbly dough was a challenge without adding extra liquid.

Suggested Tweaks: Next time, I'd dial back on the flour a bit in the dough or else add a little extra sour cream.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Susan Feniger's Street Food to give away.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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