Tag Archive for cauliflower

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.

Yam & Cauliflower Gratin

As a food blogger, I get quite a few free samples. Now, I could simply try them and then report back–let you know what I think. But that would be too easy. I don’t like easy (much to the chagrin of everyone who’s ever dated me, but the delight of anyone who’s ever eaten my food).

Instead, I want to use the product in a recipe, and then pass that recipe on to you, if it’s blog-worthy.

yam & cauliflower gratin

First up: a new line of pasta sauces out of Quebec called Antonella’s. The come in four varieties: alfredo and cheddar, which are cream-based, and tomato-basil and roasted garlic, which are tomato-based. Now, the thing I liked about these was that there weren’t any unpronounceable ingredients in them, they’re gluten-free, and they are the first shelf-stable pasta sauces to use tetra-packaging. This allows them to be 100% recyclable, more durable than glass, and they cause less of a carbon footprint, because they fit together and you can transport 33% more per shipment.

Okay, I can get behind all that, but if it don’t taste good…

Luckily, they do. Mr. Picky 10-yr-old and I tried the alfredo on some fresh tortellini. I threw in a little pesto and some sundried tomatoes, and the boy hoovered it down and asked for the leftovers in his lunch the next day. Score.

IMG_2285

But I wanted to incorporate it into something that was different, meaning, not pasta. Hence this gratin. This would make a lovely side-dish for your Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey. There’s a richness to it from the creamy alfredo sauce, which hugs the vegetables. I added a panko and parmesan crust for crunch and texture.

Yam & Cauliflower Gratin

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Antonella’s alfredo or cheddar sauce
  • 1 medium-large yam, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 small leek, cut in half lengthwise, washed well, and sliced into 1/2 rounds (white part only)
  • 2/3 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsps freshly grated parmesan or similar cheese
  • 3 tbsps melted butter

Method:

  • Toss the vegetables together in a large bowl. Add the sauce and stir well.
  • Place the vegetables in a casserole dish and smooth the top with a spoon.
  • Mix the breadcrumbs, parmesan and butter well in a separate bowl. Spread in an even layer, creating a crust over the vegetables. Bake, covered, for about a half and hour in 350 degree oven, then bake another 10-15 minutes uncovered until the breadcrumbs are toasted.

Next up: cooking with booze!

 

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