Mmm… summer. One of the best things about summer is the availability of all the fantastic fresh herbs everyone seems to grow! Amanda’s parents have mint in their yard, Annie’s parents have jalapenos (ok not really an herb but delicious all the same) and someone happened to bring in some freshly picked basil to Annie the other day. Thankfully she was willing to share!

Inspired by this awesome surprise and the tofu gnocchi I had already tried from Peas and Thank You, I decided to whip up a batch of what I like to call Black Bean and Basil Dumplings. I was much too lazy to wait for the dough to get cold enough to roll into snakesand cut into tiny pieces. I was just patient enough to let the dough cool its heels in the freezer for about 20 minutes. They were just hard enough to stand up to boiling by then, so I just kinda rolled them into rustic balls and squashed them a bit.

I boiled them in a pot of slightly salted water and covered them with a Cucumber Basil Pesto-type sauce. They came out pretty damn tasty! And they were mega satisfying! I will definitely be making these again and trying out different types of beans.

Kyle just brought me Cranberry Beans. He also restocked my adzuki beans supply. Maybe I can do an adzuki bean gnocci with a Japanese flavored pesto… we’ll see where the summer winds blow me!

Black Bean and Basil Dumplings
1/2 cup black beans
1/3 cup cannellini beans
1 large clove garlic
1/2 large jalapeno, seeded
1/3 cup fresh basil
1 egg
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour (you could use a different flour here)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine beans, garlic, jalapeno, basil and egg until well combined. Add in flours and give it a whirl again. Add vinegar, water, salt and pepper and process until a dough begins to form. Transfer into a container and place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes or until firm enough to handle.

Break apart pieces of dough, rolling them lightly in flour until you form a bunch of tiny dumplings, or large dumplings if you prefer. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then place about 1/3 of the dumplings in at a time, boiling until they float for 2 minutes. Serve plain, with a sauce or even just melted butter!

I opted to serve these with a delicious “pesto” I made. In it was:
– a whole cucumber
– half a jalapeno, seeded
– 2 ounces asiago cheese
– 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
– a dash of lemon pepper
– a palm full of basil leaves
– 2 tablespoons olive oil

Mmm… YUM!


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