I’ve just realised a problem with the Tuesday Night Vego Challenge. Do I post it on Wednesday? After making it on Tuesday? Or do I post it on Monday? For readers to make on Tuesday? I’ve decided to forgo logic entirely, and just post on Tuesday. I actually usually make things several times to get the recipe written down pat before I post them anyway.
I have zucchini and their close cousin tromboncino going nuts in my garden this time of year. It is compulsory in our household to have zucchini every day, I’ve given so many away that my friends are avoiding me, the chooks have gone on strike and refuse to eat any more. This is the first year I’ve grown tromboncino (Diggers seeds) and I think they have upstaged Blackjack as my favourite variety. They suit my garden well because they grow into a climbing, rambling vine, like a very rampant cucumber. I can grow them up the fences of my fortress fenced beds and they provide a bit of shade for everything in the bed and maximise the use of fenced space – conventional zucchini take up a lot of ground room. But next year, I’ll plant just two or three vines all up for the whole summer!
I also have basil going nuts in my garden this time of year. It is one of the few leafy greens that will cope with summer. So I make pesto just about every week and we have it on sandwiches, in salad dressings, on vegetables. This recipe also uses lots of my lovely new season garlic, and the last of the early spring planted potatoes. We don’t eat a huge amount of potatoes – I’m not active enough to afford the carbohydrates. But the recipe is healthier than it might at first appear, with only one medium or two small potatoes for two generous serves.
Makes two good serves.
With a bit of multitasking I can make this well within the half hour. Please feel free to join in the Challenge – fast, easy, healthy, in season, real food – and add your link or recipe in the Comments .
You need a couple of tablespoons of pesto for this. I make it regularly this time of year and usually have some in the fridge. It’s just
- 40 grams of nuts (macadamias, cashews, almonds or pine nuts), lightly toasted
- 40 grams of parmesan
- a cup, packed of basil
- a clove of garlic
- salt to taste
- enough good olive oil to blend
If you haven’t got it made and you are making it, get it all ready then use the food processor to do it straight after the spuds. That way you don’t have to wash anything up, and it still gets ten minutes or so to mellow.
- Scrub 250 grams of potatoes, chop and cook them, skin on, till they are tender. Waxy potatoes like Dutch Cream, Kipfler, Bintje, Nicola, or Pink Eye are best. I used the kipflers that I grew this year for these.
- While the potatoes are cooking, heat your largest, heavy bottomed fry pan with a little olive oil. Fry about two cups of sliced baby zucchini with two or three cloves of chopped garlic till they just start to colour.
- Drain the potatoes and put the pot back on with lots of water for boiling the gnocchi.
- Process the potatoes with a food processor, or through a mouli or ricer, to get a smooth puree.
- Blend with an egg, a good pinch of salt, and enough OO bakers flour (I use the bakers flour that I use for my sourdough) to make a smooth, kneadable dough. My faithful Braun food processor copes with the spuds, one egg, and about half a cup of flour to make a thick batter. I tip another half a cup of flour on my benchtop, tip the potato mix on top of it, and knead it in. Knead very briefly to make a smooth soft not-sticky dough.
- Roll the dough into long snakes, about 2 cm diameter and cut the snakes into 2 cm slices. Use a fork to squash each gnocchi slightly, like the picture at the bottom.
- Cook the gnocchi in two batches in boiling water until they rise to the top. This will take less than a minute. Use a slotted spoon to take them out into a colander.
- Is the pan with the zucchini, garlic and olive oil still hot? Get it hot again and add the gnocchi. Cook, tossing gently, for just a couple of minutes till the gnocchi get a little bit of colour. I like to add a few handfuls of quartered cherry tomatoes at the end and just heat them through, then add two or three good spoonfuls of pesto. Toss the pesto through and serve.