Bon Appetit’s June/July 2021 is a keeper.
Not just because its cover heralds “21 Speedy Summer Recipes”. I’ve already cooked my way through four of them. Earlier this week, it was the jumping off point for our Corn Snap Pea Sausage Rigatoni. Today it’s this remarkable salad. Bon Appetit called their version “Sheet Pan Gnocchi”. That doesn’t do justice to this flavor-packed salad. Jammy roasted tomatoes, tender spring greens, a punch of parmesan are all enhanced with garlic lemon dressing. Then there’s the revelation of how good shelf-stable gnocchi taste when crisp on the outside and tender inside. In Bon Appetit, it’s the main course in a vegetarian dinner. Carnivores like us served it as side dish with pan seared lamb chops.
Gnocchi are the dumplings of Italian Cuisine
There are literally dozens of ingredients used to make Gnocchi. They can be made from flour, corn meal, semolina, bread, chestnut flour, and ricotta. Vegetables are often incorporated from pumpkin to spinach to the classic potato used here. The name “gnocchi” comes from “nocca” the Italian word for “knuckles” . That certainly suits their distinctive shape. Gnocchi have been around since the Renaissance, an elegant dish popular on banquet tables. The potato gnocchi in today’s recipe date when Spanish explorers introduced the South American natives to Italian kitchens.
Pellegrino Artusi published the exact recipe for today’s Gnocchi.
Chewing The Fat readers were introduced to “The Grandfather of Italian Cuisine” in our recipe for “10-Minute Bolognese”. (See the link below today’s recipe). To recap, Artusi’s lasting gift to Italian home cooking was the publication of “La Scienza in Cucina e L’Arte di Mangiare Bene” (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well). In his recipe for gnocchi, he told the tale of a woman whose gnocchi disappeared in the pot she was boiling them in. The lesson was that she had not used enough flour to hold them together. Artusi shaped his gnocchi into pinky-sized pieces rolled against a cheese grater for texture. That texture created by rolling gnocchi with the tines of a fork or the cheese grater, gives the dumplings ample nooks and crannies where whatever sauce you use can hide. Today’s lemon garlic dressing clings to the oven-crisped gnocchi. Here’s the recipe.
A flavor-packed salad of jammy roasted tomatoes, tender spring greens, crisp gnocchi and punch of parmesan-- all enhanced with garlic and lemon dressing.
- 1 large red onion, cut into ½ inch wedges
- 4 Cloves or Garlic, peeled or un-peeled
- 2 pints Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 17.6 oz Package of Shelf-Stable or Refrigerated Potato Gnocchi
- 4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided plus more for drizzling
- 1 ½ tsp. Kosher Salt
- 2 tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 cups of mixed Spring Greens
- 2 oz. of Parmesan shaved
- Step 1 Place a rack in the middle of the oven. Pre-heat to 425F
- Step 2 In a large bowl, toss onion, garlic, tomatoes, gnocchi, 3 tbsp. Olive Oil, 1 ¼ tsp Kosher Salt. Season generously with pepper. Transfer mixture to a rimmed baking sheet and toss again to combine.
- Step 3 Roast the vegetables, stirring once or twice, until the gnocchi are golden and crisp, most of the tomatoes have burst and the onion is golden.
- Step 4 Remove the garlic from the baking sheet. If unpeeled, remove the peel. Mash the garlic with ¼ tsp. kosher salt. Put the mashed garlic in a small bowl. Whisk in the lemon juice and 1 tbsp. Olive Oil. Season with pepper and more salt if needed.
- Step 5 Put the roasted vegetables in a large bowl. Add the Spring Greens and Parmesan and toss to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Put the salad on a serving platter or divide among 4 plates, adding a final drizzle of oil.