Tag Archive for gnocchi

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.

Avocado Gnocchi

Comfort food. It’s pretty much what I’m into these days. Rain has returned to Vancouver with a vengeance with the end of October, and it seems like it’s dark so early now.

I just want things that are warm and comforting.

Soups, stews, pastas… they all are filling and warm and immensely comforting this time of the year.

Traditionally, gnocchi is made in one of two ways: with cooked, starchy vegetables like potatoes, squash or sweet potatoes (see how here), or with a base of ricotta cheese. The ricotta method is my fave, as I’ve tried both, but find I get a more consistent result with the ricotta version.

This one includes the addition of avocado, one of those vegetables with the “good fats” that you might be wondering how to incorporate more of into your diet. Avocado are sweet and creamy, and they make a great addition to this dumpling, tinging it the lightest sage green colour.

I prepared it very simply by sauteing the finished gnocchi in butter and olive oil and pesto, and then adding a few sage leaves at the very end. I finished it with a grating of Parmesan cheese.

If you wanted to up the avocado quotient on this recipe, you could also make an avocado pasta sauce to toss it with.

It’s easy, healthy, delicious… pretty much everything you need for a cold November night.

Avocado Gnocchi

(from the Chilean Hass Avocado Cookbook)

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz pkg ricotta cheese
  • 1 large avocado, pitted, peeled and mashed
  • 4 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2 scant cups of AP flour

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, avocado, Parmesan, butter, nutmeg, and add salt and pepper.
  2. Stir in the flour, until the dough is cohesive, but still moist.
  3. Sprinkle your work surface with flour. Divide the dough into quarters, and working with one quarter at a time, roll the dough out into a rope, about 1″ thick. Using a blunt knife, cut off 1-2″ chunks of the rope. Toss the gnocchi onto a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with flour.
  4. Bring a large, salted pot of water to the boil, and add the gnocchi, one at a time. Cook in batches. They take about 3-4 minutes to cook, and you know when they are done, as they rise to the surface.
  5. To finish the dish: melt a couple tablespoons of butter and tablespoon of EVOO in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the cooked gnocchi to the pan, and stir well. Fry for about 5 minutes, or until the gnocchi pick up some nice colour. Finish with a dollop of pesto that you stir into the pan. Serve with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese and freshly-ground black pepper.

 

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