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Highgarden Holiday Recipe from The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook

November 28, 2023 at 9:04 am
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Season’s Greetings from Westeros, Essos, and Beyond

As we head into the holiday season, where kitchens will be fragrant with delectable morsels, it seemed a fitting time to share an early look at The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. Enjoy this sneak peek and scroll all the way down to discover a recipe you could incorporate into your year-end festivities!

The cookbook is presented as the in-world manuscript of Maester Alton, a curious, food-obsessed Citadel master who loves the fare of the highborn and small folk alike. His recipes evoke the world’s regions, history, and stories in a charming and knowledgeable voice. Each section is introduced with stunning woodcut illustrations like this one featured in the opening pages of the book.

To whet your appetite for all that is to come on May 7, 2024, peruse the table of contents at your leisure.

You’ll be able to enjoy everything the vast culinary world The Official Game of Thrones Cookbook has to offer next summer! In the meantime, astonish family and friends this fall by serving flavorful Highgarden Dumplings at your banqueting table.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 20 minutes

Cooking: 40 minutes

Nowhere in the Seven Kingdoms can boast such rich harvests or such flavorful produce as

the Reach. Perhaps there is some truth to the legends of Garth Greenhand and his agrarian

powers, but more likely the fertility of the lands around Highgarden can be attributed to the

more mundane properties of its soil and geography. Regardless, so great is the bounty of the

Reach that without its exports, much of Westeros would go hungry. One happy consequence

of these plentiful harvests is that cooks and farmwives throughout the region are endlessly

dreaming up new ways to employ their bounty.

One of my favorite dishes, rarely seen anywhere but the south, is a small dumpling made

with either squash or beetroot. The recipe is straightforward: the vegetables are roasted until

soft, then blended with flour and an egg to make a dough that can be cut small and boiled. The

resulting bite-size dumplings are soft and a little chewy. Sauced with butter, herbs, and cheese,

it’s a memorable combination that plates beautifully for honored guests.

1 pound (about 2 cups) butternut squash, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 egg

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1½ to 2 cups all-purpose flour

Brown Butter Sauce

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

Small handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

½ cup cooked peas

Salt and ground black pepper

Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the squash with the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, flipping the squash halfway through, until very tender.

While the squash is cooking, make the sauce: Melt the butter over medium-low heat in a large frying pan, stirring occasionally. After several minutes, it should become foamy and start to turn a nutty brown color. Reduce the heat to low, add in the sage, and then stir in the heavy cream. Let cook for several minutes, until somewhat thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the walnuts and peas. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the squash is cooked, add it to a medium mixing bowl and allow it to cool for several minutes. Add the egg and puree with an immersion blender until smooth (the squash may also be mashed by hand, but the texture might be more rustic). Add in the Parmesan and nutmeg. Gradually add in 1½ cups of the flour, then, if needed, continue to add flour until you have formed a dough that is not sticky and can be kneaded. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Divide the dough into quarters and, still working on the lightly floured surface, roll each quarter out into a rope that is no more than ½ inch thick, then cut each rope into sections about 1 inch long. Once all the dough has been cut, add the dumplings to the boiling water in batches of four. Allow the dumplings to cook for several minutes, until they are all floating at the top of the water, then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain them.

Add the cooked dumplings to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve warm and top with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired.