The first Arful Vegan recipe I tried out is Yellow Finn Potato Gnocchi with Beet-Merlot Reduction, Roasted Beets, and Walnuts, p94.
I had misjudged how time intensive this recipe is! Roasting beets, baking potatoes and reducing the sauce several times as well as letting the gnocchi freeze for an hour takes alot of time! I was a little disappointed with two aspects of the recipe… the cute Chiogga beets (inside they alternate white and pink rings) loose all of their color in roasting, and I was surprised that the potato gnocchi dough wasn’t flavored more beyond potatoes. Next time I make this, I’m putting roasted garlic in the gnocchi and possibly nutmeg too.
The beets were wonderful- roasted with allspice and clove. They went well with the sauce, which was surprisingly good and tangy. The sauce starts out with carmelized shallots, which are then sauted with beets and thyme. A dark roasted vegetable stock and merlot is added and the whole mixture is reduced by half. Then dried cherries are added, and the sauce is reduced by a third. It’s finished off with a whisking of balsalmic vinegar and cornstarch.
This was my first time making gnocchi and I was surprised how light and delicate they are. After boiling they seemed way too fragile to me, so I added an extra step and broiled them, browning them all over. I’m glad I added this step. It gave the gnocchi more body and a texture that invited them to explode with fluffiness in my mouth. I couldn’t help but ponder if perhaps this is just a dressed up tatter-tot?
The dish is then finished with walnuts that have been sauted with garlic. I also gave the dish an additon of a nice pillow of spinach for it all to rest on.
This was definitly the sort of meal to make on a weekend. Next time I’ll:
- start the gnocchi early in the day, beginning with roasting garlic and potatoes.
- add whole shallots in with the roasting beets.
- keep with broiling the gnocchi.