No-Float Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi With Lemon Kale-Basil Pesto
This fresh, bright Lemon Kale-Basil Pesto is very summery. Although this gnocchi is slightly little less fluffy than traditional potato gnocchi, especially when made gluten-free, it still has ease and lightness — it just says summertime.In this recipe, the cauliflower rice, fresh cauliflower, or frozen cauliflower pieces are boiled instead of baking as you would with potatoes, for potato gnocchi. Instead of boiling this cauliflower gnocchi until it floats, like potato gnocchi, it is steamed with some water in the pan and covered to cook the flour, while pan-searing.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Meal Prep
Cuisine American, California, Italian
Keyword dairy-free, Date Night, decadent, make-ahead, non-dairy, rich, vegan, vegetarian
1 -2 Non-fuzzy towels, cheesecloth or a nut-milk bag
Stockpot or pot big enough to boil cauliflower in
No-Float Cauliflower Gnocchi
20ozriced cauliflower or frozen cauliflower floretsI buy two 10 oz bags
2/3cupsflour, plus more for the dusting the gnocchi & workspace,for gluten-free use a 1:1 gluten-free flour, almond flour won't work well for this recipe.
½ - 1teaspoonsaltriced cauliflower is often pre-salted, use a 1/2 teaspoon if your cauliflower is pre-salted. Use a full teaspoon if your cauliflower is not salted.
2TBSPsnon-virgin olive oil, avocado oil or other high smoke point oil
Lemon Kale-Basil Pesto (Makes approximately 1 & 1/2 cups, you only need half for the gnocchi)
1cupkale de-stemmed and cut into chunkspacked
1clovegarlicmore to taste
1/4cupraw pistachios unsalted, unroasted or sub other unsalted nuts
¼teaspoonsaltmore to taste
1/2cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4cuplemon juicethe juice of one lemon
1 - 2TBSPswateroptional
No-Float Vegan Cauliflower Gnocchi
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Add frozen riced cauliflower or fresh or frozen cauliflower florets and cook for 6-8 minutes, lowering to med-high, boiling until tender. Drain using a colander lined with a non-fuzzy towel. You can also use cheesecloth or a nut milk bag in place of the non-fuzzy towel.
Once the drained cauliflower has cooled enough to squeeze in the non-fuzzy towel, cheesecloth or nut milk bag, squeeze it. If you don't want to wait for it to cool you can squeeze it while wearing silicone oven mitts. Squeeze and twist the towel, milk bag, or cheesecloth some more. Keep squeezing it and wring it out until you suspect the only water is coming from the towel. Cheesecloth and nut milk bags will be drier. If you are using a non-fuzzy towel, you can transfer the cauliflower to a second, dry non-fuzzy towel and squeeze again to get it as dry as possible.
Transfer and process the cauliflower in your food processor. Pulse until it crumbles and looks a little like mashed potatoes. Add flour and salt. Pulse until a soft, sticky dough forms. It will stick together in a big clump, leaving only some of the dough behind. If you are making a double batch it won't form a big clump. Flour your workspace with a generous amount of flour.
Using a spatula or floured hands, gather the dough into a ball and place it onto your floured workspace. Dust the outside of the sticky ball with flour and cut the ball into 4 sections. Using floured hands, roll the balls into a 3/4″ – 1″ thick rope. It helps to get a lot of flour on the outside of the dough. Then cut the gnocchi ropes into approximately 1" pieces.
Dust the cut gnocchi with flour and place it in a bag or airtight container in one horizontal layer. Seal and store horizontally in the freezer overnight or up to a month. I usually make this the night before and then pan-sear it the next day. Since this gnocchi is a little soft, freezing it before cooking it can help keep it from sticking to the pan when you cook it. If enjoying this cauliflower gnocchi with Lemon Kale-Basil Pesto, make the pesto before you pan-sear the gnocchi.
Lemon Kale-Basil Pesto
Pulse the kale, basil, olive oil, salt, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Add the nuts and pulse until ground to desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if desired. Add 1 -2 TBSPs of water if you want to mellow it out. This pesto can be stored for 7 days in the fridge. This makes enough pesto for two batches of cauliflower gnocchi.
Pour 1 TBSP of oil in the pan and coat the pan with the oil. Heat at medium-high heat. Add gnocchi to the pan in one layer. Let it sear for 2 - 3 minutes before flipping. Flip the gnocchi.
Turn the heat down to medium and pour 1/4 cup water into the pan and cover with a lid. Let steam for 2-3 minutes or until the water has mostly evaporated. Uncover and add the remaining TBSP of oil to the pan and toss and sear, trying to get the gnocchi brown on all sides.
Turn the heat off. Take 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup of the pesto and toss and stir it with the gnocchi until it is uniformly green and coated. Serve immediately and enjoy, adding crushed red pepper or 5-Minute Garlic Shake if desired.
Nutrition information is approximate. The Nutrition Information has been calculated from half of the pesto recipe, about 3/4 cup, and the full gnocchi recipe as 2 servings of Kale-Basil Pesto served with the gnocchi. You might only use 1/2 cup pesto per batch of gnocchi.
I recommend making a double batch of this. You can always leave half of it frozen to enjoy later. When you squeeze out the cauliflower, do so in batches to ensure you get as much water out as possible. I have a 10 cup food processor and I can mix the entire double batch all at once. I then make two balls of dough, flour my workspace and cut each ball into four pieces and make the gnocchi as written.
Here are the measurements for a double batch:
40 oz. frozen riced cauliflower1 & 1/3 cup flour, plus more for the dusting the gnocchi & workspace1 - 2 teaspoons salt
Riced cauliflower is often pre-salted. Check the ingredients on your frozen cauliflower, if it contains salt use only 1/2 teaspoon of salt for a single batch and only 1 teaspoon for a double batch. Use less salt if desired, you can always taste the dough after it's been processed and decide on the salt level then.
Using raw or frozen cauliflower florets
The instructions are the same as if you are using riced cauliflower. You may want more salt as noted above since riced cauliflower is often pre-salted, but fresh and frozen are not usually pre-salted. I recommend 1 teaspoon of salt for a single batch and 2 teaspoons of salt for a double batch when using un-salted cauliflower. Use 5 cups of raw or frozen florets for a single batch and 10 cups for a double batch. www.planttestkitchen.com