Nettle and Hazelnut Gnocchi with Dandelion Butter

Nettle and Hazelnut Gnocchi with Dandelion Butter

The nettle and hazelnut pesto in the gnocchi mixture not only adds flavour, colour, texture and nutrients but it also stands in place of the egg and cheese used some gnocchi recipes. The nettle can be swapped for alternative seasonal wild greens at other times of the year. 

Ingredients

Pesto Ingredients

  • 4 handfuls of nettles (about 75 grammes)
  • 75 grammes hazelnuts (about 8 tablespoons)
  • 75-150 millilitres of olive or hazelnut oil
  • A grating of nutmeg (optional)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A squeeze of lemon or orange juice 

Gnocchi Ingredients

  • 4 medium-sized baking potatoes (approximately 250 grammes each)
  • 200 grammes kamut, light rye or plain white flour
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Olive or rapeseed oil

Dandelion Butter Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons dandelion petals
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oi
  • A pinch of sea salt

Method

Pesto Method

  1. Pile the nettles into a sieve. Pour boiling water over. Rinse under cold water. Trim any thick stems.
  2. Add the nettles to a food processor or pestle & mortar with the hazelnuts, the oil, the nutmeg, a pinch of salt and a good squeeze of lemon or orange juice.
  3. Blend or pound until you have a course paste. Trickle in more oil to loosen it if needed (you can swap some of the oil out for water, if you want a lighter pesto).
  4. Spoon into a clean jar and cover with a thin layer of oil until ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Gnocchi Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade/gas mark 6.
  2. Prick your potatoes all over with a fork or the tip of a small knife. Place on a large baking sheet. Roast for 1 hour, or until a knife can be inserted into the middle of the potato easily.
  3. Let the potatoes cool for 10 minutes, then halve and spoon out the flesh.
  4. Mash with the potato with the back of a fork. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and add the pesto.
  5. Mash and mix everything together. Dust half of the flour over.
  6. Cut the flour into the potatoes with a large spatula. Once the flour is absorbed, add more flour, little by little, until the mix is about the consistency of playdough.
  7. Roll the mix into a large sausage about 4 centimetres thick. Cut into 1-2 centimetre thick pieces.
  8. You can either pan fry or roast the gnocchi in a little oil until golden on each side. Serve with the pesto, dandelion butter or a tomato sauce, or just fry with a handful of hazelnuts, nettle leaves and a pinch of salt.

Dandelion Butter Method

  1. Ensure you use only the petals and not any of the green bits as they can be bitter.
  2. Simply blend the petals with the coconut oil and salt. Chill until ready to use. It’ll keep in the fridge for at least a week. Delicious on or tossed with anything you’d use with butter (i.e. as lovely tossed with veg as it is on toast).

Thanks to the wonderful Rachel de Thample for this delicious recipe @dethample

Photo credit: Rachel de Thample



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