With Valentine's Day around the corner, I figured a savory dish would be perfect for the next recipe. This recipe was created with romance in mind, something complex yet simple. Please do not allow the steps of this recipe to scare you away from enjoying this dish. In my opinion, I haven't made a dish this good in a VERY long time. I would even go to say that this is my favorite plant-based dish to date. It's everything I want from life.
I toasted the oat flour in the gnocchi to emulate the toasted quality of browned butter, and simply because toasted oat flour is my favorite. Honestly, try toasting any type of flour for your next baked good or fresh pasta.
I toast my flour in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking and/or stirring constantly to prevent burning. Once a strong toasted aroma hits your nose, take it off the heat and place into a bowl. If kept in the hot skillet, it will continue to toast and potentially burn. The color will deepen a few shades, and smell nutty... it's really magical. Check the image below for reference.
These gnocchi can be prepared before hand and frozen for up to 3 months. This will remove a load of stress from your dinner preparations. If you're like me and want the challenge, cram it all into one evening.
I use 'I'm Free Gluten Replacement' from Modernist Pantry instead of Xanthan Gum in this recipe, but either will work. What's fantastic about Modified Cellulose is that it allows further expansion in baked goods AFTER being heated, Xanthan Gum sets quickly once heated.
If you're looking for a creamier sauce, add in a 1/4 cup of plant-based milk to the tahini before adding into the skillet. I prefer the dryer version of this sauce.
Notice the color difference of the oat flour on the left versus the toasted out flour on the right? That's what you're wanting!
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt & pepper, to taste
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until fully blended and smooth. If the mixture isn't pourable, stream in a bit more olive oil.
Store in a container for later use, this can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
Toasted Oat Gnocchi
yield 3-4 portions:
1 kilo (2.25 pounds) russet potatoes
2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 cup potato starch
1 1/2 cup oat flour, toasted
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, or gluten replacement
Place whole, unpeeled potatoes into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove once fully cooked, my potatoes cooked in stages so it is important to check all and not just one.
Allow the potatoes to slightly cool before removing the peels. This step will be easy if cooked fully, the peels will slide right off!
Finely mash, or press the potatoes through a ricer. I do not recommend using a hand/stand mixer for this step, overworking the potato starch will result in a gummy gnocchi.
Knead in the potato starch and toasted oat flour until smooth and incorporated. Once again, do not over mix to keep the gnocchi light and fluffy.
Divide the dough into 3 balls. Working with one portion at a time, roll into a 1 inch wide snake and cut 1-1.5 inch gnocchi from the rope.
OPTIONAL: Press the tops with a fork, or roll over the back of the fork to achieve that signature gnocchi look. Place gnocchi onto a tray and toss in potato starch to prevent them from merging together.
Boil the gnocchi in salted water, working in batches until they float to the surface. Scoop gnocchi out and place on a plate or tray until all gnocchi have been boiled. (Reserve a cup of boiling liquid)
Tahini Sage & Citrus Sauce
1/2 cup plant-based butter
5 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4 sprigs/branches sage
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini, +2 tablespoon if avoiding plant-based milk
1/4 cup plant-based milk, optional
fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
coarse kosher or sea salt, to taste
Combine lemon juice, tahini and plant-based milk (if using) in a bowl and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.
Saute the mushrooms with whole sage sprigs until slightly crisped and golden brown.
Remove the mushrooms from the pan, and place to the side for later use.
In the same pan, toss the boiled gnocchi and red chili flakes into the hot butter until crispy.
Toss the sliced garlic, and mushrooms into the pan and toss for another minute.
Reduce the temperature to a low heat, and stream in the lemon juice and tahini mixture. Toss until creamy and coated, take off the heat. If it is looking too dry, add in a some pasta water to help smooth things out.
Season to taste, plate up and drizzle with your gremolata. Serve immediately and enjoy!
I paired this dish with a 2020 Pinot Noir from Really Good Boxed Wine, and it was the perfect pairing! If you decide to make this dish for your loved ones, please tag me on social media. I am on both Instagram and Facebook, @cheekygingerchef.
Keep it cheeky,