Sunday, March 22, 2015

Beet Gnocchi Veggie Bowl

Back in February, I photographed what I thought was the last blizzard of 2015. 

 It was beautiful and I enjoyed cozying up inside and watching the snow fall. But man, was I wrong about it being the last winter storm. 

 Now, near the end of March, it is just as snowy as it was after that February blizzard, and temperatures are only just starting to venture above zero. 

However, pea shoots are available at the farmer's market. There is hope. Frozen, wind-blasted, frostbitten, and snowed under, but it's there. It's in the shoots I ate last night and in the baby arugula that might be available next week. 

In short, there's hope in the greenhouses. 

I had a free day yesterday, so I spent most of it making a needlessly complicated bowl of roasted vegetables topped with goat cheese and those hopeful sprigs of green. 

Carrots, mushrooms, garlic butter, and pea shoots are the straightforward part of this dish. It's the beet part of this that went a little sideways.

These are the beet gnocchi that I made once before. 

I wanted to try it again with a different method that I just learned at work. It involves grating cooked vegetables instead of mashing them.

Here are roasted and peeled candy-stripe beets from Longspell Point Farms. 

I think I'll keep the purée next time. The main problem is that the egg doesn't really bind with the beet gratings, so you essentially have a flour and egg dough that happens to have beet bits in it. 

Which is perfectly fine.

  It does, however, take more flour than I originally planned.
This is one of those times when any sort of all-purpose gluten-free flour does the job as well as glutinous flour. Bob's Red Mill is the best I've worked with.

Once the dough actually starts sticking more to itself than anything else, it's time to roll it into snakes. And then make snake steaks. 

Because the beets I used were pink and white instead of deep purple, the dough turns out to be pale pink.

Rolled, floured, sliced, and floured some more.

After a quick boil in salted water:

These do take a bit longer than regular potato gnocchi, and I'd advise taking them out right when they start to float, or else they lose colour, which is why some of the above are yellowish rather than pink.

That was the needlessly complicated (but fun!) bit. Now comes the meal part. 

Hello, pot.

Hello, carrots.

Don't use that many. I used three medium-sized carrots.

Sliced on a bias and sautéed for about 15 minutes. 

Carrots to the side. Time for the star of the show: 

a third of a cup of butter. 

After the butter browns, throw in two thinly sliced cloves of garlic and fry until fragrant. Then in go the gnocchi.

After those cook and absorb the butter for about five to seven minutes, in go the carrots and quartered mushrooms. 

Pea shoots and goat cheese top the meal. 

Come on, Spring!

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