Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Beet Gnocchi

Phew! Today I was baking up a storm!!! Tomorrow is Ben's 27th birthday, and I want him to have amazing food to celebrate! The presents are wrapped, the alarm clock is turned off, and the fridge is full! Here's the rundown. I made: angel food cake which will get mocha whipped cream tomorrow, dark chocolate ice cream with a peanut butter swirl, a tropical avocado smoothie, pumpkin pie popsicles, mini crustless pumpkin pies, and Garlic Gold guacamole hummus. I'll be posting on pretty much all of this eventually soon, so no need get worried!

Now, on to the beets! Lately I have been trying really hard to like beets. I know they are healthy, they are pretty and they taste....well, there's the problem! They kinda taste like dirt! Literally!

So I have been trying to work them into meals in sneaky ways, like this beet gnocchi. I still get the pretty color, the health benefit, and only a little bit of the flavor. Good deal! Here's the recipe, which I found in a magazine from the UK (which means all of the measurements are in grams. Grr, more thinking!) called Vegetarian Living. They wanted you to make your own pesto to top it all, with smoked almonds and all kinds of fancy stuff, but I thought making my own gnocchi was fancy enough! So here is  my version, which is pretty much like theirs...done the lazy way!

Beetroot Gnocchi
600g floury potatoes (such as russets), cut into large chunks (I used about 3 medium sized potatoes)
125g cooked beetroot, pureed (1 medium sized beet)
1 large egg
450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
a little olive oil

For the top:
homemade or store bought pesto, as much as desired
1 bunch chard
1 cup shredded cooked chicken

-Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 20 minutes until soft. drain thoroughly, then when cool enough to handle, pass them through a potato ricer or mash using a potato masher until smooth. Add the beetroot and mix together.

-Make a well in the centre of the potato and beetroot mixture, and beat in the egg and some seasoning.

 Add the flour and mix to form a dough. Turn the dough out and knead it for a few minutes on a floured surface.

-Divide the dough into four or five pieces

and roll out each one into a 2cm-diameter rope. Cut off pieces of dough at 2.5cm intervals. You may need to keep adding flour as you go, it gets pretty sticky!

-Here you can either cook the gnocchi right away, or freeze it.

The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but I don't want to weigh 500 lbs, so I froze half and cooked half, and we still had leftovers! Just lay out your gnocchi on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to a ziploc bag. No need to defrost when you want to cook them, just drop them into boiling water!

-To cook: drop the gnocchi into a large pan of boiling water, then when they rise to the top, after a couple of minutes, scoop out and coat in olive oil. You may need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your pan so they don't stick together.

-For the topping sautee chard in a pan until wilted,

add a few spoonfuls of pesto and the chicken. Toss together until all is hot. Serve on top of the gnocchi with added pesto if desired. Sprinkle with some parmesan cheese and voila!

I roasted some cauliflower, tossed in olive oil, s&p, at 450* for about 30 minutes,  stirring once and sprinkling a bit of parmesan on in the last 5 minutes. It was a great side!

It is a bit of work making gnocchi, not something I'd really like to do every day, but we got two dinners for four people out of it, the flavor was amazing, AND it was pretty!

 There is no arguing with pretty food! The beet flavor comes through a bit, but is not at all overpowering. Now this is how I like my beets!


  1. Wow, I love gnocchi! I made it once in cooking school, but with the added beetroot it just looks amazing!!! Beautiful!

  2. VERY creative dish! Looks fantastic.

  3. wow, loved the beet gnocchi- really innovative- Looks colorful!

  4. I love that you think they taste like dirt. I have to say that I'm with you. I've never been a fan of beets until I had them roasted. They are really good roasted. I bet they're even better in our gnocchi!

  5. Wow! What a creative way to use beets. Sounds amazing!

  6. Gorgeous, what a colorful dish. I love beets! I've never thought of making gnocchi with beets :)

  7. This looks so good! I'm glad to read this, because I'm planning to make gnocchi for the first time ever. I love beets, my husband doesn't, and we always get a lot from our CSA. So I made beet pizza dough, which was a big hit (and I love that it's pink!)