Inspired by fresh kale and sweet potatoes on hand and the desire to create something different, I thought of pierogi which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had never made. An online search turned up kale-filled pierogi, but not dough with the kale incorporated, which is what I wanted to try, so I set out to get it right for the fall/winter holidays and beyond.
My first try yielded marginal results. I made the dough in a food processor and, though it turned a lovely color of green, it was too tough. Not so tough that the pierogi were inedible; just not quite up to par because I sought a beautifully tender dough. For my second and final try, I minced the kale in a food processor, but made the dough by hand with a bit more moisture and that more than did the trick. My non-vegan husband is a huge fan of these kale pierogi. In fact, I came home craving them one day for dinner only to find he had eaten the last of them. Here’s wishing that you are quicker on the uptake than I was!
Special Diet Notes & Options: Vegan Kale Pierogi
By ingredients, this kale pierogi recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, peanut-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
- 2 cups white whole wheat or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 ounces stemmed, de-ribbed, fresh kale, quickly blanched in boiling water and completely dried (I like to blanch a day ahead to be sure it is absolutely dry)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅔ cup + 3 tablespoons warm water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup seasoned, mashed sweet potatoes (I steam them and mash with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg; this I also like to do a day ahead)
- ½ cup dairy-free margarine, melted
- 2 tablespoons dry rubbed sage
- Caramelized Onion: 1 onion, halved, cut into slivers, and caramelized (I use 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion in a large skillet for about 20 minutes over medium to medium-high heat; sometimes I add a tiny bit of natural sugar and balsamic vinegar to speed the process.)
- Optional garnish: lightly salted and toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh sage sprigs
- Fill a large pot ¾ full with water, add a tablespoon of salt, cover loosely, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with Silpat and oil a 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Add kale to water and blanch for about two minutes--should be bright green and hold its shape--remove to a colander, shock with cold water, and drain well, reserving water and returning to pot. Pat kale dry and mince in a food processor; avoid creating a paste.
- Return water to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, use a fork to combine flour, kale, and sea salt. Make a well in the center and quickly add water and olive oil, stirring to gradually incorporate the dry into the wet ingredients. Avoid over-mixing.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface (I use my counter top), and knead just a few times or until dough forms a smooth ball. Avoid over-working the dough. Divide in half and form into two balls, covering one with a dish towel. Roll the first ball into a 1/16th to ⅛th inch thick circle or oblong shape. Lifting and flipping a time or two to insure that dough isn't sticking, and adding additional flour to the work surface a teaspoon at a time if needed. Cut out circles with a 3½-inch diameter sturdy glass or round cookie/doughnut cutter. Place on prepared baking sheet. Place a scant 2 teaspoons filling in the center of each circle. Moisten the edges with water, fold in half, bringing dough up and over filling to form a crescent, and pinch to seal. Edges will have a rustic fluted look.
- Add all 10 pierogi to simmering water, let water return to a simmer, and cook for 4 minutes; the pierogi will rise to the top. Remove to a colander with a slotted spoon and then transfer into prepared baking dish. Keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Melt together dairy-free margarine and sage and pour over pierogi. Serve topped with caramelized onions and garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh sage sprigs.