Ukrainian Spinach Dumplings With Lemon Marmalade and Sour Cream, courtesy of chef Susan Feniger and chef Kajsa Alger
5 lemons, well washed
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
(Makes 1 1/2 cups)
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup sour cream
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 equal pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, cut into small dice
2 1/2 pounds zucchini, grated (4 cups)
2 bunches fresh spinach, roughly chopped (8 cups)
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1 cup)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup lemon marmalade (see recipe)
1. Make the Lemon Marmalade: Using a vegetable peeler, remove the yellow zest from all of the lemons. Slice the zest into narrow, delicate strips and put them in a small saucepan. Cut off the ends of each lemon, and then cut down the sides, removing the white pith so that you are left with just the fruit. Discard the pith. Cut the fruit into 1/2 inch pieces, removing any large membrane and seeds. Put the fruit in the same saucepan with the zest. Pour 1/4 cup water into the saucepan and add the sugar and salt; stir well to combine and dissolve the sugar. Put the pan over medium head at, stirring occasionally, bring to a boil, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 50 minutes, until the marmalade is thick and glossy. Transfer the mixture to a container and let it cool in the refrigerator. Store the marmalade in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
2. Make the dough: In a small bowl, mix the egg and sour cream together.
3. Put the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer on low speed, beat the mixture while adding the butter, one piece at a time, until the flour starts to come together in small clumps, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the egg mixture all at once. Turn the mixer on low speed again, and mix just enough to incorporate the egg mixture. Do not overmix or your dough will be tough. The consistency will be slightly crumbly and will resemble a pie dough.
4. Turn the dough out onto a flat surface. Knead it with your hands just enough to bring the dough together into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour or for as long as 24 hours.
5. Divide the dough in half. Put one half on a floured work surface; wrap the other half in plastic wrap and return it to the refrigerator. Roll the dough out into a round about 1⁄8 inch thick. Cut out 12 rounds with a 3-inch cookie cutter. Put the rounds on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. Repeat with the other half of the dough to make 24 rounds total.
6. Make the filling: Put the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a small saucepan, cover with water, and set over high heat. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook at a slow boil for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender when poked with a fork. Drain, and set aside until cool enough to handle, 5 to 10 minutes.
7. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it is translucent and just beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. The onion will continue to brown; that is OK. Add the spinach and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
8. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the entire contents into a colander, pushing on them slightly to expel some of the liquid. Let drain and cool in the colander for 30 minutes, occasionally pressing and stirring with a rubber spatula to drain as much of the excess liquid as possible.
9. Grate the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater.
10. When the drained spinach mixture is cool, put it in a large mixing bowl. Add the grated potato, feta cheese, and the last 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix gently to combine.
11. Make the dumplings: Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil.
12. Put a level tablespoon of the filling in the center of each dough round. Fold the dough into a half-moon shape, and making sure the filling doesn’t squeeze out, press the edges together firmly with your fingers to seal them. The dough is pliable, so if there seems to be too much filling, you can stretch it a little bit to fit around it. Repeat until all of the dumplings are filled.
13. Working in batches, boil the dumplings for 3 minutes and then drain them, being careful that they don’t tear. Set them aside on a tray lined with wax paper. (The dumplings can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day at this point.)
14. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is frothy, add the dumplings so that they lie in a single layer. (You may have to do this in 2 or 3 batches, depending on the size of your pan.) Cook for just 1 to 2 minutes on each side, until they have a light golden brown sear and are slightly crispy but are not fully browned or fried.
15. To serve, spread a generous spoonful of sour cream across the center of each plate. Follow with a spoonful of the lemon marmalade. Put the dumplings on top, and sprinkle with the dill.