Pan-fried Gnocchi with Watercress Pesto and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I love gnocchi, but only if they are pan-fried. I found boiled ones to be a bit heavy and sloppy. When I discovered pan-fried gnocchi (thanks to Nigella!), it was a game changer and since then I don’t do it any other way.

If I remember it right, I saw this recipe on one of the Sainsbury’s recipe cards, which you can pick up from the store. The recipe is so easy and adaptable, you can easily adjust it to your taste.

PAN-FRIED GNOCCHI WITH WATERCRESS PESTO & ROASTED TOMATOES

Ingredients:

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

75ml olive oil, plus extra for frying

3 tbsp walnuts/pine nuts, toasted

1 x 110g bag watercress

1 x 500g pack fresh gnocchi

100g fine green beans, halved

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the halved tomatoes on the oiled roasting tray and roast until they are ready and caramelised on the edges.
  2. While the tomatoes are roasting, make the pesto by putting the garlic, olive oil, walnuts and the watercress in a food processor, blitz to combine. Check for seasoning.
  3. Heat a large frying pan with a splash of olive oil, add the gnocchi and toss gently over a medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes until lightly golden.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the beans in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes until just tender, drain.
  5. To assemble, add the pesto to the gnocchi and toss together. Gently stir in the beans and tomatoes. Serve as a side dish or as a main with some salad.
Advertisements

Roasted Aubergine and Lentil Soup

It was one of those situations, where I didn’t have a lot in the fridge and had to ‘jazz it up’ as I went along. I had one aubergine and just few cupboard basics. I never thought of adding aubergine to any of my soups before. “What a mistake-a to make-a”!  It works perfectly in a soup. I actually prefer it to potato. This soup is rich, earthy, with a subtle hint of spice, a good helping of garlic and gentle Mediterranean aromas. You can adjust the spice level by adding less/more chilli of course. The soup goes very well with these stout & honey buns.
Roasted Aubergine and Lentil soup
ROATED AUBERGINE AND LENTIL SOUP
Ingredients:
3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 aubergine, cubed

1 onion, finely chopped

1-2 carrots, depends on size, chopped

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of herbs of your choice (I had oregano)

1 teaspoon of paprika

pinch of sugar

1 cup of puy lentil

2 cans chopped tomatoes in its own juice or about 500gr fresh tomatoes, chopped

approx 3-4 cups of water/stock, depends how thick you like your soup to be.

2 teaspoons of red wine vinegar (optional)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or minced

1 chilli, finely chopped (optional)

salt and pepper to taste
parsley/seeds to garnish (optional)
Method:
1. Heat oven to 200C. Arrange the cubed aubergine in a single layer on a baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, mix well and roast for about 20 minutes or until tender and nicely brown.
2. Preheat the rest of the oil in a cooking pot, add onion and carrots and cook them for 5-7 minutes.
3. Then add the spices, herbs, sugar, lentil, tomatoes, water/stock. Bring it to boil, then reduce the heat, cover with the lead and cook it until the lentil is cooked.
4. When the lentil is cooked and tender, add the roasted aubergine to the soup, along with red wine vinegar, garlic and chilli. Season well with salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Cheese and Caramelised Onion Tart

IMG_2632

I’ve had cauliflower cheese on my mind for a while, but haven’t got around to make it simply because I’m getting bored from cooking the same recipes, even if I like it a lot. Most of the time I’m coming back to the same ‘repertoire’ when I’m either short on time or need some comfort food. On this occasion I had spare time and was up for trying something new.

I like quiches a lot but some times I find them a bit too eggy for my liking. I prefer tarts instead, which are essentially dryer than quiches and with a little bit more character. Here is what I came up with:

CAULIFLOWER CHEESE & CARAMELISED ONION TART

Ingredients:

For the crust:

250 g plain flour

125 cold butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon salt

3-4 tablespoon cold water

For the filling:

Olive oil

1 big or 2 small cauliflower heads, cut into florets (about 500 g)

2 white onions, sliced

1-2 tablespoon whole grain mustard

2 eggs

220/1 tub cream cheese

120 soured cream

150 g strong Cheddar

parsley or chives to decorate

salt & pepper

Method:

1. Start with roasting the cauliflower florets in 3 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper at 220C for about 40 minutes, turning halfway throughout cooking.

2. To make the pastry crumble together by hand the butter into the flour, add salt, mix in the egg and few tablespoons of cold water or milk to form a soft dough, make a ball and chill in a fridge for minimum 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile cook the onions in a large flying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a moderate heat, for about 30 minutes or until onion is deep golden and caramelised.
(Everything up to this stage can be made in advance.)

4. Remove the pastry from the fridge, roll it up on a well floured surface, arrange it into the prepared buttered and floured flan dish or spring form tin.  Preheat the oven to 180C. Meanwhile brush the inside of the pastry with whole grain mustard and layer over the caramelised onions followed by the cauliflower.

IMG_2611

IMG_2612

4. Whisk together the eggs, cream cheese and soured cream, stir in the grated cheese, leaving some for the topping, fresh herbs and season well with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the tart filling and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

IMG_2613

5. Bake in the oven (180C) for about 50 minutes until crust and topping are nicely golden. Leave it to cool 15 minutes before serving. Serve with simple green or tomato salad, good for a picnic.

IMG_2633

IMG_2637