One of the most enjoyable parts of home cooking for me is being introduced to new ingredients. I have heard of green garlic here and there in the past, but didn’t pay it much mind. I didn’t know exactly what it was and didn’t have a reason to investigate it further. Then I came across this recipe for ricotta dumplings with green garlic and asparagus and I was all kinds of interested. Green garlic is a seasonal spring vegetable that looks similar to scallions and garlic scapes. It is basically baby garlic harvested before the bulb is fully formed, and now is the time to look for it at local markets and farmstands. I obtained mine through Full Hand Farm by way of Wildwood Market, and I couldn’t wait to try this recipe. I must say, the flavor is truly unique and incredibly delicious. There is so much good in this recipe, but the green garlic really is my favorite thing about it. This dish is the epitome of what I want in a springtime meal. It is light yet satisfying, bursting with fresh flavor and texture from the herbs and veggies, and it is simply lovely to look at. The vibrant green of the asparagus, green garlic and chives against the fluffy white of the dumplings makes me happy.

If you have not yet tried your hand at homemade ricotta, let this be the thing that motivates you to give it a shot. The original recipe does give instructions for how to make the dumplings using store bought ricotta so if you must go that route, follow the link at the bottom for that info. I honestly haven’t bought a single container of the store bought variety since learning to make my own because it doesn’t even begin to compare, and because homemade is so easy! I often make it in the morning before work while working on breakfast or kids’ lunches, and then have it ready to go for dinner that evening. These dumplings are so incredible and I am already inspired with ways to use them in other recipes. I am sure you’ll be seeing them here again in the future. In the meantime, go out and hunt down some green garlic and make this amazing spring meal.

  • Yield about 4-6 servings


For the dumplings:

  • 1½ cups homemade ricotta
  • 1 cup finely grated Grana Padano or good quality Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

For the broth:

  • 8 oz. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 stalk green garlic, pale green and white parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 01

    To make the dumplings, combine the ricotta in the bowl of a food processor with the grated cheese, egg, egg yolk and salt. Pulse together just until smooth. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and pulse just until combined. Transfer the batter to a medium bowl. Dust a parchment-lined baking sheet with flour. Use a metal scoop to drop out about 1-1½ tablespoons of the dough for each dumpling. Dust the tops lightly with more flour.

  • 02

    Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus pieces and cook 2-3 minutes, until just tender but not soft. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water, and drain again. Fill the pot again with water and bring to a boil for the dumplings. Add the dumplings to the pot in batches so that they aren’t too crowded. Let cook about 4 minutes, until they have nearly doubled in size and floated to the surface.

  • 03

    Meanwhile, bring the veggie broth to a low simmer in a large pot or Dutch oven. Once the dumplings are cooked, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer to the pot with the simmering broth. Stir in the butter and green garlic. Cook, tossing gently, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the garlic has softened, about 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, chives and lemon juice. Let cook just until the asparagus is warmed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, with additional grated cheese as desired.

  • 04


    • As written, this recipe will give you many delicious ricotta dumplings with a relatively small amount of broth. If you prefer something leaning more toward the soup realm, consider doubling the quantities of the broth and herbs in that portion of the recipe. I liked it as is, but I can see it being great both ways. 
    • For a different flavor (but non-vegetarian), consider using chicken stock for the broth portion. I went this route because it was what I had on hand and it was delicious. 
    • The flavor of green garlic is quite unique and I don’t think that there is a clear direct substitute that will yield the same result. However, I think some thinly sliced leek (sautéed briefly) or thinly sliced scallion would be at least a decent sub when green garlic is out of season. 
    • The dumplings can be made in advance and frozen once formed. Freeze on the baking sheet and then transfer to a freezer storage container. Cook from frozen for about 6 minutes.