From Wild Garlic, Gooseberries . . . and me, Denis Cotter, Collins, 2007.
Reading Denis Cotter’s writing about vegetables can only inspire one to get going into making his dishes. This book is, for the most part, made up of musings, discussions and information about vegetables and Cotter’s love of them as growing plants and as subjects for eating. And so that his enthusiasm can get his readers to try the vegetables he has included four sections between the reading material of recipes, all of which sound, just from their titles, enough to get the salivary juices going.
For this first attempt of mine, I got the ginger broth going first. Into a pot of boiling water went cut up vegetables of various types: celery, carrot, onion, garlic, chilli and the main flavouring, fresh ginger. These simmered for about 20 minutes.
On top of the simmering pot I placed a steamer and cooked the pumpkin for the dumplings. When it was done it was mixed with some chopped macadamias, lemon zest and chopped coriander. Though it was not mentioned in the recipe, I seasoned this mix.
By now the broth had finished its time so it was turned off and soya sauce added. I tasted the broth and it had quite a heat to it and was strongly gingery. I was unsure at this stage, feeling that the ginger may be a bit too strong and overpower the rest of the dish.
Small quantities of the pumpkin mixture, when cool, were placed into the middle of wonton wrappers. It was shaped roughly rectangular and the wrapper folded over to wrap up the mixture. All was now ready for the final stage.
Broccolini and oyster mushrooms were now stir-fried for a few minutes and the broth put on to a simmer. When the vegetables were close to ready, the broth was brought to the boil and the dumplings dropped in for a couple of minutes to cook. At the same time some sliced spring onions were added to the vegetables.
The dumplings were taken from the stock and placed into serving plates. The vegetables were placed alongside and the broth poured over.
My concern over the strength of the ginger broth went when I tried the dish. It had somewhat diminished when eaten with the dumplings, though it was still a little strong. I had cut back the amount of ginger in the broth by about a third when I made it so feel it would have been far too strong if the full amount had been used. Despite my concern over the ginger the dish was a pleasant one. The elements all cohered to make a dish that was light and satisfying.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔