toasted fennel-seed, yam gnocchi w/ spinach + chive pesto (+ some rad news!)


let's get to the BIG news first, shall we?  dolly and oatmeal has been nominated in the "Best Original Recipes" category for Saveur Magazine's Best Food Blog Awards!!! so many happy emotions i can't even get into it! voting ends april, 9th, so i would be totally honored if you threw a vote my way!  you can click the image below to vote :)


on to all things green!

the past couple of weeks have been kind of awesome to shop at the market and grocery store.  there's a whole new fleet of veggies to choose from; soooo many beautiful baby greens, sprouts, spring onions, herbs and spinach!  i've been kind of torn on what to make for meals as it's spring, but there's still a significant amount of chill in the air.  i've been preparing a lot of items that are warm and soothing to eat when chilly, but also using a little spring in there; call it, my, winter meets spring campaign.  last week were warm mujadra tacos with spring greens + herbs, today, it's yam gnocchi, with some toasted and crushed fennel seeds, coupled with a spinach-chive pesto that is, what i'm calling, muddled spring (is there a cocktail with that name? there totally should be!).  the gnocchi is light enough to be a side dish, but sturdy enough for a meal, while the pesto just brightens the flavor and brings out the anise essence of the fennel seeds.  if there ever was a cozy spring dinner meal, this is it!

as i mentioned above spring is making it's presence known at markets and stores everywhere, but it's official when my favorite vendor, lani's farm, is back at all the nyc greenmarkets.  i made a special trip to the union square market this past saturday and almost squealed when i saw their tent! i think i bought up half their tray of spinach, then i purchased 2 large squares of kale and radish sprouts, plus every herb bundle that was available!  i was even happier when i got home and to wash my green loot in my beautiful new colander!  the kind people at Savora sent me one and it's really quite super, not to mention beautiful! while i usually go for a more rustic aesthetic, i'm loving how clean, polished and bright it is!  it comes in various colors but i'm really feeling the white as it gives off a spring/summer-y vibe.  i'm also really stoked to check out some of their other products, especially the hand-held grater (for all the veggies) and ice cream scoop (hello, summer!).  plus they're based in my native homeland, long island!  if you're interested you can totally get your hands on one of their beautiful pieces at bloomingdale's.



toasted fennel-seed, yam gnocchi w/ spinach + chive pesto (gluten free + dairy free)

serves 4 

ingredients

  • 3-4 hannah yams (approx. 1 pound)
  • 1 1/2-2 cups brown rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted + crushed
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup spinach + chive pesto

spinach + chive pesto

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • 1/3 cup raw pistachios, toasted
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt


instructions

  • preheat oven to 400°.  place yams on a baking tray and bake for 45-50 minutes, until a fork can pierce the flesh easily.  remove yams from oven and allow to cool
  • in a large bowl, scoop yam flesh from the skin, add the roasted garlic and mash together until combined.  add the egg, toasted fennel seeds, parsley and salt + pepper; mix until combined.  a little bit at a time, add the flour until the dough comes together
  • on a floured work surface, cut the dough into 4 even pieces.  roll one piece at a time into a log, roughly 2 feet long, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (this is totally optional but you can use a fork to roll them into the shape in the images), transfer to a floured tray or plate
  • bring a large pot of water to a boil, gently transfer approx. 20 pieces of gnocchi  (more or less depending on the size of your pot, you don't want to crowd them or have them stick to one another, so refrain from adding too many), cook gnocchi for about 3 minutes - until they float to the surface.  with a slotted spoon, gently scoop them out and transfer to an oiled dish. repeat with remaining gnocchi. reserve a couple tablespoons of cooking water
  • place gnocchi in a large serving bowl and top with pesto, if needed, thin out consistency of pesto with reserved cooking water, taste and season accordingly
  • garnish with chopped chives, crushed pistachios and/or parsley

enjoy!