Archive for Recipes: Savory

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Cauliflower.

Humble. Hearty. Arguably–bland. And yet, at the same time, the hottest vegetable around these days.

You can blame the Paleo-Keto-ists. Or the vegetarians. Or the Vegans. Whatever. It doesn’t really matter. Cauliflower is hot.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

From Cauliflower mash replacing mashed potatoes, to pizza crusts, “steaks,” “wings” and more…

Cauliflower gnocchi is something I’ve been curious about for a while. I mean, I love gnocchi. I make it all the time, and this time of the year, I mostly make it from yams or squash. It’s become one of those things I’m finally starting to get the hang of, and not need to look up a recipe for.

I was entranced by Amanda Cohen’s appearance recently on Iron Chef Canada. Her vegetarian NYC restaurant, Dirt Candy, is now on my bucket list. They do, it’s said, a Cauliflower and Waffles that is to die for.

On Iron Chef, the secret ingredient was… wait for it… Cauliflower! And one of the dishes Chef Cohen made was Cauliflower Gnocchi.

I tried to do this one gluten free, but was unable to make it work. I’ll experiment some more and perhaps come back to you with a gluten-free version.

I was most impressed by the texture of this gnocchi. It’s pillowy and soft in the middle, but because you finish it in a frying pan, it has a nice crispy edge. It needs very little accompaniment. I serve mine tossed in a little pesto, with a grating of parmesan.Gnocchi

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • additional parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Start by removing the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Cut out the core and separate into florets.
  2. Place half the florets into a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is coarsely ground and resembles rice. Remove to a bowl and repeat for the second batch.
  3. Add a couple tablespoons of water to the bowl of cauliflower rice and microwave for 3 minutes. Stir, and microwave for another 5 minutes. If you don’t have a microwave, spread it in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray, and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and allow to cool enough so you can handle it.
  5. Place the cauliflower rice in a kitchen towel or a cheesecloth, and begin to squeeze the water out of it. Continue until you get as much moisture out of the cauliflower as possible.
  6. Place the cauliflower back in the bowl and add the ricotta, egg, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Stir well to combine.
  7. Now add the 2 tbsp of corn starch and 1/2 cup of flour, and stir to combine. Continue adding 1/2 cup of flour at a time until your dough is the right consistency. You’ll need to turn it out onto a board to knead it. The final consistency should be still a little tacky, but it shouldn’t be gooing up all over your hands. You may not need the entire 2 cups of flour, or you may need a bit more, depending on the wetness of your cauliflower.
  8. Once the dough is the right texture, place it back in the bowl and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove from the fridge and divide in half. Roll each half out into a long rope, then using a bench scraper or a butter knife, chop off 1″ chunks.
  10. Bring a large salted pot of water to a boil. Carefully drop the individual gnocchi into the pot one at a time, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. You’ll need to work in batches. Mine took four batches. Stir the gnocchi well once they are all in the pot. You know they are done when they rise to the top, about 4-5 minutes.
  11. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon or spider, and allow to drain.
  12. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil and an equal amount of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add your gnocchi to it, and allow to brown a little on the outside, stirring occasionally. Add more oil if needed. Stir in a couple tablespoons of pesto and toss well to combine.
  13. Plate the gnocchi with a drizzle of olive oil and a grating of parmesan cheese.

Blistered Tomato Soup #CookingInColor

Earlier in the week, I was raving about Food Gay’s new cookbook, Cooking in Color. It’s a book full of vibrant, creative recipes, and it includes some great tips and tricks for those of you who want to up your Instagram game.

I made a variety of recipes from the book, and I look forward to making many more, but my favourite of the ones I made was this Blistered Tomato Soup. I asked Jeremy and Adrian if I could share it with you.

Blistered tomato soup cooking in color

Mine versus theirs.

I should say, for the record, that I’m biased when it comes to tomato soup. It is probably my favourite of all my favourite comfort foods. For me, growing up, rainy days merited a can of Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich made with those terrible fake cheese slices. Today, my grown-up equivalent of that meal exists at Burgoo.

This is a lovely recipe. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their sweetness, and while this recipe is vegetarian, it could easily be made vegan by using a vegan parmesan cheese to finish.

You will need a good blender, though, if you want a really creamy final result.

Blistered Tomato Soup Food Gays

Blistered Tomato Soup

(recipe courtesy of Cooking in Color by The Food Gays)

Ingredients

  • 10 to 12 medium tomatoes on the vine
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigaiano-Reggiano cheese
  • crème fraîche or plain greek yogurt for garnish (optional)
  • fresh basil and sorrel leaves to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Slice and “X” into the bottom of each tomato and place on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with thyme and rosemary. Toss tomatoes until well coated.
  3. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then broil for another 15 to 20 minutes, until slightly charred on top. Keep a close eye on them at this point–it is easy to burn them!
  4. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat the cooking oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 4-5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Season with salt.
  5. Transfer the roasted tomatoes to the pot with the onion and garlic, and stir well. Add broth. Bring to a simmer. Add cheese, and stir until it melts.
  6. For a smooth soup, transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. For a chunky soup, you can use an immersion blender right in the pot.
  7. Divide soup between two serving bowls. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche and fresh basil and sorrel (if using).
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