Cauliflower gnocchi with an avocado and kale pesto
This recipe will surely ‘gnocchi’ your socks off!
Gnocchi is a delicious Italian classic that makes for a filling dinner for the family while not taking too long to prepare. Using cauliflower instead of potato is not only a tasty alternative but just shows how you can make gnocchi out of other veg in your cupboard with great results. The creaminess of the avocado pesto is a great accompaniment but feel free to experiment with your own favourite sauces.
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
For the gnocchi
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
200g plain flour
50g corn flour
2 tbsp olive oil for frying
For the pesto
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
10g pine nuts
30g vegetarian parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
15g pine nuts, lightly toasted
20g sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
70g rocket leaves
To make the gnocchi, begin by steaming the cauliflower in a sieve over boiling water until soft, this should take about 5-6 minutes. Once the florets are soft leave to the side until cool enough to handle.
Next you will need a clean tea towel. Wrap the cauliflower inside the tea towel and squeeze ALL the excess liquid out.
Combine the cauliflower with the flour and a pinch of salt in a food processor until it forms a smooth dough.
Use some plain flour to cover your work surface and cut the dough into 8 equal sized balls. Using your hands, roll the individual balls into long sausage shaped cylinders about 2cm in diameter, making sure they are of equal thickness along the whole roll.
Using a sharp knife, cut your rolled dough about 1 ½ cm apart to form the individual gnocchi pieces, rolling each one down the back of a fork applying a little pressure to get the desired textured design.
To fry the gnocchi, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, using enough oil so that the bottom of the pan is covered. We used 2 pans for this as you want to make sure the gnocchi pieces are not touching to avoid them sticking together. Once one side starts to turn golden brown (about 2 ½ minutes), flip them over and repeat on the over side.
To make the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a blender until it forms a thick smooth texture. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking.
Serve the gnocchi with the pesto and pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and rocket.
Serve and enjoy!
*A tbsp of nutritional yeast works as a cheesy substitute if you can’t get hold of vegetarian parmesan.
*Nuts are a great way of adding a bit of protein to vegetarian meals however they can be expensive. Toasted pumpkin seeds are a great substitute for the pine nuts as they are still adding that bit of crunch and don’t cause the pesto to lose its green colour.
*We used regular flour in this recipe but we have made it with gluten free flour before and the gnocchi still comes out looking and tasting the same.
*Don’t press the gnocchi too firmly against the fork as you will risk misshaping them, this is also an optional step and you can simply roll them with your thumb instead to ensure they have smooth edges.
*The pesto is a great accompaniment with the gnocchi but feel free to serve alongside any of your favourite pasta sauces and toppings.