Gnocchi with Swiss Chard and Ricotta

swiss chard and ricotta gnocchi As soon as there’s a chill in the air I have the urge to make gnocchi, I don’t know why, but I  just do. So on a cool, dark, dreary Sunday I whipped up a batch.

I’m partial to ricotta based gnocchi instead of the potato ones, they’re light as a cloud and melt in your mouth plus you can get a batch together in no time at all.

making Swiss chard gnocchi This time I wanted to add some Swiss chard to mine, I still have a ton growing in my garden and since I’ve done kale gnocchi before I’d thought I’d try it with chard.

You don’t need a bunch of chard because a little goes along way. Rinse it really good then blanch it for a few minutes, the key thing to remember is make sure you squeeze out all that excess water because you don’t want super wet greens added into your dough.  I use my potato ricer for squeezing, it works wonders!

making gnocchi Making gnocchi isn’t difficult, it’s all about how that dough feels, you don’t want a sticky dough, it can be slightly tacky but that’s about it. Make sure to drain your ricotta, some deli ricotta can be very wet so you’ll want to make sure to drain it really good, otherwise you’ll be adding too much flour and your gnocchi will tastes like lead!

Add your flour a little at a time, you might need more or less than the recipe calls for, you’ll know by the feel of it.

swiss chard gnocchi A simple marinara always goes well with gnocchi but this time I added a little roasted red pepper puree into mine, ( roast a couple of red peppers then puree them with a little olive oil in a food processor) and we loved it even more, it was a match made in pillowy cloud heaven!

swiss chard gnocchi I also tossed some into a warm garlic butter sauce using just two tablespoons of butter, one small chopped garlic clove and the juice and zest of one lemon, I added diced and roasted zucchini along with freshly grated parmesan cheese, delish!

The main thing to remember is that the sauce is just a compliment, the gnocchi is always the star of the show!

My Ricotta Gnocchi recipe can be found HERE, just replace the kale with Swiss chard.

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Kaleslaw with Kale-onaise

kaleslaw Our garden is still overflowing with kale so I’m always looking for different ways to use it up. Kale thrives in cool weather so I know I’ll have plenty for upcoming soups and stews this fall, at least until the first frost hits us, but for now I’m still on a salad kick.

Recently I bought a cook book called, Fifty Shades of Kale, catchy title don’t you think? Anyway, it got my attention plus the fact that it had 50 unique and different recipes for kale. One that I wanted to try right away was this colorful dish of Kaleslaw. It’s a little twist on traditional coleslaw where the cabbage is replaced with sturdy leaves of shredded kale.

It’s the perfect side dish sitting next to any kind of meat you might be serving, we had it with pork chops and chicken but it’s even great all by itself for a nice hardy lunch.

kale-onaise The book also had a recipe for kale-onaise which they suggested you use with the kaleslaw, it’s mayo based with lots of chopped kale added in along with lemon, lemon zest and garlic, not only did I use it for the kaleslaw, I started scooping it into my deviled eggs and chicken salads, it’s so good and it’s  even better as it sits in the fridge for a day or two.

kaleslaw I adapted the original recipe and added more veggies that was called for, along with toasted sliced almonds for added crunch, it was a hit!

kaleslaw All you kale lovers out there, make this for yourself, make this for your family or serve it up at your next party, you’re going to love it!

Kaleslaw with Kale-onaise

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped in shreds
  • 1 large handful of coarsely shredded carrots
  • 1 whole red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 orange pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 red onion sliced into thin strips
  • 1 handful of shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/4 cup of toasted sliced almonds
  • Kale-onaise to coat your kale and veggie mix , the amount is up to you.
  • KALE-ONAISE INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups of packed and chopped kale
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of organic mayonnaise
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. For the KALESLAW, place kale and all veggies into a large bowl, add kale-onaise and toss well.
  2. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before serving.
  3. For the KALE-ONAISE, in a food processor, combine the kale, salt, pepper and garlic. Process until finely chopped.
  4. Add the mayonnaise, lemon zest and juice, process until nice and smooth.
  5. Store in the fridge like regular mayonnaise.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/09/kaleslaw-kale-onaise.html

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Purple Plum Torte

plum torteI finally got my hands on some beautiful Italian plums, sometimes called Italian prune plums. I look forward to them each year, but when they become available I know that summer is over, so it’s kind of  bitter sweet. Speaking of sweet, I think it’s about time for a dessert showcasing these beauties!

Italian plums Italian plums are half the size of regular plums and oval shaped. If you were to bite into them you would say they weren’t very juicy but something magical happens when you bake with them, they transform into a sweet/tart jam like consistency, perfect for all your baked goods.

ingredients for plum torte This is an easy to do recipe it has just a few ingredients but the results are fantastic, there’s a reason The New York Times posted it twelve years in a row!  You’ll even be amazed how easy it is to prep those little plums, once you slice into them the pit practically falls out by itself, so everything comes together quickly. Don’t worry if you can’t find the smaller Italian plums that I used, the larger ones would work as well.

purple plum torte In no time you’ll have this not too sweet, moist and buttery cake that has the perfect crumb packed with jammy plum flavored goodness to enjoy.

plum torte Get that coffee going ASAP!

Recipe adapted from Marian Burros, Elegant but Easy, The Essential NY Times cookbook and Smitten Kitchen

Purple Plum Torte

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 Italian plums, pitted and cut in half ( adjust the amount if using larger plums)
  • sugar and cinnamon for topping

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, sift first three ingredients.
  2. In larger bowl, cream sugar and butter, until fluffy then add eggs one at a time.
  3. Add flour mixture and beat well.
  4. Spoon the batter into a buttered 9 inch spring form pan.Smooth out the top.
  5. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.
  6. Sprinkle top lightly with sugar and cinnamon, about 1 teaspoon of each.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  8. Cool before cutting.
http://www.prouditaliancook.com/2014/09/purple-plum-torte.html

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