Savory semolina dumplings recipe

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Lyon is the capital of quenelles, or, as we have less graciously named them, “dumplings.” The most famous of them all is the quenelle de brochet, which is made of pike. Testament to the city’s obsession is the Bar à Quenelles, where you can grab a quick quenelle-on-the-go. They have many types, cooked in a variety of ways: panfried, steamed, or in a soup.

  • Yield: 48 mini quenelles
  • Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cooking Time: 5 Minutes


  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp (40 g) butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1⅓ cups (140 g) semolina flour
  • 2 egg yolks
Optional Flavorings
  • ¾ cup (140 g) drained cooked spinach, blended to a smooth paste
  • 2 oz (50 g) strongly flavored cheese, grated
  • 2 to 3 tsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Grated strongly flavored cheese for serving (optional)
How to Make It
  1. Put the milk, butter, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the nutmeg in a pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, beat in the semolina with the egg yolks. At this point, beat in one of the flavorings (if using). Make sure to beat hard and fast; otherwise the semolina will become lumpy. Stir until it comes together into a smooth dough.
  2. Dust a plate or baking sheet with semolina. Use two teaspoons to form the dough into a quenelle shape and rest it on the plate while you finish forming the others.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of water with a generous pinch of salt to a boil. Add all the dumplings. As soon as they rise to the top, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water. Drain well and serve drizzled with a little oil and a sprinkling of cheese, if you like.

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