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Posts tagged ‘italian’

Celery And Potato Gnocchi With Herb Sauce

Celery and Potato Gnocchi With Herb Sauce

I created this for the latest food52 contest, the ingredient we have to work with is celery. I found this pretty challenging, I like celery raw in salads as opposed to cooked. I struggled to find a different and creative way to use celery in a dish and I thought, gnocchi might be good venue for the celery challenge, my instincts were correct, the gnocchi have a subtle celery flavor and to dress them I made a quick, fresh herb sauce utilizing the leaves and thin stems of the celery, parsley, mint, garlic, butter and olive oil. The result is delicious and I am already thinking of ways to incorporate other vegetables in the gnocchi.

Serves 6

Gnocchi:

5 large stalks of celery cleaned and chopped into 2 inch pieces

1 large potato (I used russet)peeled and sliced in thick pieces

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tsp celery seed (optional to intensify celery flavor)

large pot of boiling water that is salted

Slice potato and celery and boil together. boil until they are very soft, drain and let cool in the strainer until they are just warm, press with a fork to remove any liquid. Add to food processor and process until smooth, add egg, salt, optional celery seed and 2 cups flour. Pulse until you have a cohesive but somewhat sticky dough add more flour and pulse if its too sticky. Dump the remaining cup of flour onto work surface and plop the dough on the flour, knead until you have a soft dough incorporating all the flour. Let dough rest for 30 minutes.Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add enough salt so that the water is salty. Dust surface with more flour and cut dough into 8 pieces cover dough you are not working with with a clean kitchen towel. Roll a piece of dough with your hands until it forms a long (like a thick dowel) cylinder shape, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces, If you want to get fancy roll each piece on the back side of a fork so you have tine marks, place gnocchi on floured sheet pan, dust with a little more flour, and cover until ready to cook, continue until all dough is used. This makes a substantial amount of gnocchi so use what you need for a meal place the others on a floured parchment lined baking sheet in one layer and freeze. Transfer to a freezer bag. Put the gnocchi in the boiling water and stir to separate them, they are done when they float to the top, remove with strainer and add directly to skillet with the sauce.

Sauce:

1/2 cup celery leaves with tender thin parts of the stalk finely chopped

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley chopped

1 tablespoon fresh mint chopped

1 clove garlic minced

splash of olive oil for skillet

4 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted your choice)

Heat olive oil in skillet, add garlic and saute until soft add the butter and when butter has melted add the herbs, stir to combine and cook for about 2 minutes. Saute the gnocchi in the sauce for a few minutes, top with grated parmigiano or romano cheese.

Caponata and Tomato Balsamic Jam

Caponata is a Sicilian dish which is used as a side dish or condiment. I can remember my Mother serving on toasted Italian bread as a starter or appetizer. This is my version of my Mothers recipe, its less sweet and the vegetables are soft but still retain their shape. It makes a wonderful sandwich with a sharp cheese, like aged provolone. I used peppadew peppers but you can use a red bell pepper instead, my Mother also sauteed the eggplant but I like to brush with olive oil and roast in the oven. I suggest having this on a thick slice of rustic Italian bread from the Solitary Cook. Tomato balsamic Jam is so simple to make and absolutely delicious. All you need are good tomatoes, olive oil, shallot or onion and balsamic vinegar, and you will have a tomato condiment that can be used in so many dishes. I spread on bread and top with a poached egg, or make a quick pizza, there are so many uses. Keep in a jar in the fridge it will last for at least a week or more refrigerated.

4 Italian eggplant washed and cut in half lengthwise. Skin on.

1 Medium size onion chopped

2 Stalks celery (Use the tender inner stalks) chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

4 Peppadew peppers chopped (If you do not have these use red bell pepper)

1/2 Red bell pepper chopped (if using instead of peppadew increase to 1 cup)

4  Fresh tomato’s peeled and seeds removed, or 1cup canned tomatoes diced or 1 cup tomato balsamic jam

3 tablespoons capers rinsed, rough chop

1/4 cup Olives Kalamata or green (I use a little of each) Rough chop the olives

2 teaspoons Sugar (add 1 tsp taste and add another if needed)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450, clean the eggplant cut the tops off and cut in half lengthwise. On baking sheet lined with aluminum foil brush a little olive oil  on each half, both sides, place your eggplant cut side down and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Chop the eggplant into bite size pieces.
  2. In fry pan on med/high flame coated with olive oil add your chopped onion, cook until translucent. Add chopped celery and red bell pepper, continue cooking until they are soft and have started to caramelize. Add your minced garlic, cook for a minute or so don’t let garlic brown. Add your eggplant,tomato,peppers, capers, olives,crushed red pepper, sugar and vinegar continue cooking until mixture is thick. Eggplant will break down but thats ok this will take about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit overnight. It tastes incredible when it has rested and all the flavors have blended together.

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2 cups fresh tomatoes cut into pieces

1 shallot minced

1 tps sugar

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil to coat pan

Coat your fry pan with olive oil, heat should be med/high. Add shallots and saute until translucent, add tomato, sugar, salt and pepper to taste and cook until tomato starts to caramelize but there should still be some of the juices from the tomato you don’t want it too dry. Add the balsamic vinegar and continue to cook stirring frequently for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat,let cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

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