Gnocchi made out of cauliflower? Yup, it's a thing, and a delicious one at that! Much easier than expected and a winner on flavor too!
Sounds a little iffy? I thought so too at first, but my curiosity got the better of me one day whilst perusing the frozen foods aisle at Trader Joe’s and stumbling across their Cauliflower Gnocchi. Considering the fact that I was a big fan of cauliflower pizza crust, I figured I'd give it a try.
It was a case of love at first bite, which, I must admit, I did not expect! I sautéed them in a little (ok, a lot) of browned butter with crispy sage, and they went straight on my list of regular TJs purchases.
But with a large head of cauliflower taking up the majority of my veggie drawer, I thought I’d try my hand at making them myself. The result, dare I say it, was even better than the TJs version.
This was so much easier to make than I expected, and don’t worry, there’s not an overpowering cauliflower taste at all. In fact, my husband thought they were ricotta gnocchi until I told him they weren't! The texture lies somewhere between a fluffy ricotta gnocchi and a starchier potato gnocchi.
I like my gnocchi with a simple sauce, nothing too fussy to overshadow these delightful little pillows. I prepared this batch with chives and generous dollop of crème fraîche, and finished it off with a smattering of lemon zest and, of course, flaky sea salt. Sooo good... xoxo Kirsty
Ingredients for 2-3 servings
1 head of cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets*
2/3 cup (80g) flour, gluten-free 1-to-1 flour works too
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
a little olive oil and butter for frying
1 tablespoon freshly snipped chives
1/2 cup (60g/ 2oz.) crème fraîche
finely grated lemon zest
flaky sea salt
*There are two ways to cook the cauliflower, my preferred way is to steam it. Place the cauliflower florets in a large enough pan with a steamer basket and a couple of inches of water. Steam the florets until you can poke a knife tip easily through the stems, this takes about 15 minutes. Remove the cauliflower from the pan and leave to cool off on a baking tray.
The other way, is to boil the cauliflower until tender. However, this method requires the additional step of squeezing the excess water out of the cauliflower after boiling. If this is how you cook it, place the cooked florets on a clean, dry tea towel and squeeze out the excess water. You may need to repeat this with a second tea towel. It doesn’t matter if the florets get all smushed, they’re going straight into the food processor anyway!
Cook the cauliflower according to your preferred method above. Once the florets are ‘dry’, pop them in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and pulse again until well combined.
Dump the mixture onto a generously floured surface, sprinkle over the surface and gently combine so that the chives are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Take a small handful, and roll it it into a long sausage, a little thicker than a finger’s width. Cut the sausage into small pillows, and set aside, repeating with the remaining mixture.
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil and a small pat of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the gnocchi, one portion at a time, ensuring the pan isn’t overcrowded. Allow the gnocchi to gently fry for 3-4 minutes until the undersides are golden, then flip them over onto the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove from the pan onto warmed plates.
Add a dollop of crème fraîche on top, grate some lemon zest over it, add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and enjoy!