Swede Gnocchi with Broccoli Pesto

In October, the lovely guys at The Fresh Fruit Shop sent me one of their fruit and veg subscription boxes full to the brim of amazing locally sourced produce and I started thinking about different ways I could use them.

One thing that came in the box was a swede. Swede is not something I buy very often, but I do love gnocchi, and so, swede gnocchi seemed the obvious choice! I used the tenderstem broccoli from the box to make a pesto as well and it ended up being a really delicious meal. People always assume gnocchi is really difficult, but I promise it’s not, and it’s worth it for the final result! If you want to make standard potato gnocchi, check out my recipe here.

Swede Gnocchi with Broccoli Pesto

Ingredients (serves 2-3)
400g potatoes
600g swede
1 egg
300g flour
Salt & pepper
Olive oil

For the pesto:
200g tenderstem broccoli
25g pine nuts
1 clove garlic
50g fresh basil
30g parmesan
30g pecorino
100ml extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 180c fan. Cut the potatoes and swede into small chunks and place on a large baking tray. Season with salt, pepper and some olive oil, then cover the tray with foil and roast for about an hour until tender.
2. While they roast, make your pesto. Start by toasting your pine nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until golden, then tip them into a food processor and blitz. Steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until just tender but still vibrant green, then drain and rinse with cold water.
3. Add the broccoli and the garlic to the processor and blitz again, then add the basil, parmesan and pecorino and blitz again. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. You can add more or less oil depending on your preference. Scoop into a bowl and set aside. (This makes way more pesto than you need, but it will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for a week).
4. When the swede and potatoes are tender, mash them and put them into a bowl. Make sure you pour away any excess water that comes out of the swede. Add the egg, flour and some salt and pepper and mix to form a rough dough – it will be quite sticky.
5. Dust your work surface and your hands with flour, then tip the dough out and form into a ball. Divide the dough into four, and roll each piece into a long, thin log. Cut the log into pieces and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and repeat until all the dough is cut into gnocchi. Place in the fridge to firm up.
6. When you’re ready to cook, put a large pot of salted water on to boil. Once boiling, gently drop the gnocchi into the water (you may need to do this in batches). DO NOT STIR THE GNOCCHI. Leave it untouched in the pot, if you stir it, it will stick together. Boil for a minute or two until they float.
7. Put a large frying pan on over a medium-high heat and add a little olive oil. Scoop the gnocchi out of the water and add it to the frying pan. Cook until browned and crisp. Again, don’t stir, just use the handle to gently shake the pan and toss the gnocchi. If you need to do this in batches, put the browned gnocchi on a plate until all of them have been cooked.
8. Return all the browned gnocchi to the pan over a low heat, then add some of the broccoli pesto and toss to coat the gnocchi in it. Pile into bowls and finish with a little grated parmesan, if you fancy!

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