Pea Gnocchi

Summertime! Summer, summer, summertime! 

Truly one of my favourite things is creating dishes from fresh summer produce. It’s even better if I grew it myself! 

I had a very small crop of peas this year, probably not enough to make this dish. But that’s okay. If it’s the offseason, just buy frozen peas. If you have them fresh, though… ohhhh man. Pea Gnocchi

I think people are afraid of making gnocchi, because it seems like a lot of work. And it kind of is. I mean, it takes a bit of time. But you know what? It’s summer. What else are you going to do with your time? 

Hang out! Chill out! Make a bit platter of green gnocchi. Tis the season.

Pea Gnocchi 

Ingredients 

  • 2 large russet baking potatoes or 4 smaller
  • 1 1/2 cups peas, fresh or frozen, divided 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt plus pepper to taste
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup pesto (divided)
  • olive oil
  • pea shoots to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Cook the potatoes. If you have the time, bake them in the oven, naked, then allow to cool overnight. If you have less time, peel them, slice into chunks and boil them in salted water till tender. 
  2. Cook 1 cup of peas for a few minutes in some boiling, salted water, separately, and then drain and allow to cool. 
  3. After the potatoes have cooled a little, mash them or, ideally, put them through a ricer. 
  4. Add the potatoes, peas, eggs, 2 tbsp pesto, salt and pepper to the bowl of your food processor, and process until smooth. 
  5. Add 1 cup of flour, and continue to process, until the gnocchi forms a ball. 
  6. Turn the gnocchi dough out onto a floured surface and begin to add more flour, a little at a time, kneading as you go. 
  7. You may not need all the flour–continue to add until the dough is relatively smooth, and not too sticky. 
  8. Divide the dough into 4, and roll each circle out into a log, about 1 1/2″ in diameter. 
  9. Cut 2″ sections of the dough, using a butter knife or a bench scraper. Toss the gnocchi on a flour-dusted pan. 
  10. Boil a large pot of salted water, and drop the gnocchi one by one into the boiling water. When they float to the top, fish them out with a spider or a slotted spoon, and place to the side. 
  11. Once all the gnocchi are cooked, heat a large shallow pan over medium heat. Add some olive oil, and then toss in the gnocchi. Shallow-fry for 5 minutes or so, or until the gnocchi are starting to pick up some colour on the edges. 
  12. Toss in the remaining pesto and the remaining peas, and allow to heat through. 
  13. Serve on a large platter, garnished with pea shoots. 

 

 

 

Vegan BiBimBap

You know, everyone is all about “power bowls” and “poke” these days. But the reality is, those are just bowls of rice topped with stuff. Okay, yummy, delicious stuff, but still, just rice bowls topped with stuff. 

You maybe could argue that the Koreans were the first to create such a thing. The term “bibimbap” literally means, “mixed rice.” Yup. Originally, you’d be looking at a bowl of rice topped with thinly-sliced meats (often beef), vegetables and pickles. Boy, the Koreans love their pickles. It’s very often also topped with a sunny-side-up egg, which, when you cut up and mix in with the other ingredients, makes a kind of jammy egg yolk sauce. It’s a pretty magical dish, filled with every different flavour and texture you can imagine.

I was inspired to try this in a vegan format after getting my hands on some vegan Kim Chi. I was testing a new vegan cookbook a few weeks back, and one of the recipes called for kimchi. Now, I love kimchi, I even sometimes make a version of it myself. I try to incorporate as many fermented foods (for their health benefits) as I can into my diet. But most kimchi includes fish sauce, which makes it not appropriate for vegans. 

Then I found out that a local gal was starting up her own line of vegan kimchi, and I got my hands on some. It makes a perfect addition to this dish. 

These are the toppings I put on mine: 

  • Gochujang tofu
  • quick-pickled cucumbers
  • shredded carrots
  • blanched spinach 
  • stir-fried shitakes 
  • Salty Cabbage Kimchi

A radish version of kimchi from Salty Cabbage Kimchi–it’s the most beautiful shade of pink!

Vegan BiBimBap

Start by making the rice. Traditionally, this would be white rice, but I used brown for the extra health benefits. 

Next, make the gochugang tofu. Take a block of firm tofu and cut it into small, 1″ squares. Toss the squares into a bowl, and add to the bowl 2 tbsp of cornstarch, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. Toss well. In a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat, heat a few tablespoons of canola oil. Toss the tofu into the pan, and stir-fry until crispy, about 5-8 minutes. While the tofu is frying, mix together the sauce: 1 tbsp gochujang, 1/4 cup warm water (warm will help the gochujang dissolve better), 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, and 1 tsp brown sugar. Once the tofu is browned, toss the sauce in the pan with it, and stir well. The sauce will thicken and stick to the tofu. Remove and place to the side. 

To make your Vegan BiBimBap: scoop cooked rice into the bottom of a bowl. Top with gochujang tofu, quick-pickled cucumbers, grated or spiralized carrots, fresh or quickly-blanched spinach (or if you want to be real fancy, gomae), stir-fried shitake mushrooms, and finish it off with a big blob of kimchi. 

Mix everything together in your bowl and enjoy! 

 

 

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