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Summertime Gnocchi Pesto for Shabbos Lunch! (with Gnocchi recipe)

Mmm… this was great; truly classic light Shabbos lunch fare.  Another delicious new favourite from the Kosher by Design Teens & 20-Somethings cookbook… (that’s a link to BUY the cookbook, but you can find the complete recipe here).

Basically, you round up all the basil your garden has to offer, throw in a half-cup of pecans, some garlic, sea salt, olive oil, lemon juice and mayo, whir it up in the blender…

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… and then toss it with a whole bunch of store-bought gnocchi!  What?  No store-bought gnocchi handy?  No store sells it near you?  Kosher store-bought gnocchi costs a ridiculous $6 for half a pound???  Make it yourself – it’s easy! 

No recipe for this, but here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 organic potatoes, preferably russet or another baking variety, scrubbed and poked with a fork
  • Salt, kosher or sea salt or whatever you like
  • 1 egg
  • all-purpose flour, maybe a couple of cups?
  • Big pot of seasoned / salted / oiled water (see recipe for cooking instructions)

And here’s what I did:

  1. Bake potatoes around 375-400 maybe 45 minutes, until soft through
  2. Peel & mash potatoes, add salt to taste (give crunchy peels to big kids to snack on as they get ready for Shabbos)
  3. Add 1 egg
  4. Knead in enough flour to make a kind-of firm dough (it’ll still be a bit sticky – mashed potatoes have a lot of moisture in them)
  5. With plenty of flour on the table, roll 1/4 of the mixture into a long snake and slice into 1”-ish pieces
  6. Toss pieces in flour
  7. If desired, roll against a fork to get “sauce-holding” ridges, if desired; otherwise, they’ll look more like slimy boulders than gnocchi, but they will still taste delicious.
  8. Repeat until all dough is used up.  Flour finished gnocchi generously and either a) freeze in a pan until solid, then toss in a freezer baggie, or b) use right away.
  9. To use, boil big pot of seasoned water and toss 1/2 of gnocchi in.  Cook 3-4 minutes until they float to the surface, then skim from pot with slotted (or holey) spoon to remove to colander or sieve.
  10. Rinse very well in cold running water; further cooking will turn them to mush.
  11. Drain well and toss in bowl with vegetable oil so they don’t stick together.  Handle cooked gnocchi gently; I used a rubber spatula to ensure that I didn’t smush them.
  12. Repeat to cook second half, or save them for another time!

Here’s what the recipe looks like in the cookbook…


Mmm… right?  Well, here’s MY version.  Blah!


Blech!  Yes, they look like slimy boulders coated in bile.  But I assure you, it was absolutely heavenly.  I tossed in some small tomatoes cut in eighths just before serving to brighten it up a bit, and the flavours blended together just perfectly…

This was only my second time having pesto, by the way.  But yet again, it was a delight. 

In other Food Xenophobe news, I ate my first blackberry yesterday.  Needless to say, the USB port gave me quite a shock.  Ha ha ha… I joke. 

No, it was a real blackberry, the fruit kind.  And honestly, I was somewhat underwhelmed.  It tasted like a cross between a delicious raspberry and, um, wine?  Or maybe just a not-so-great raspberry?  Maybe a grape, but there was definitely something earthier in the blackberry.  Earthier and coarse; where a raspberry flavour kind of seems to float ethereally, the blackberry tasted more like it’s tethered to the soil.

Hmm… several websites I just visited have me wondering whether what we have might not be black raspberries, based on the size and shape and the fact that they have a distinctive “rasp” in the centre which leaves them hollow when pulled away from the stem.  Still – not my favourite.

In other news, the real raspberries should be ready very soon – maybe even tomorrow!  And we might even get a few blueberries…!

What yummy stuff is growing in your garden???