Flavour of the week: Coriander. Despite being flavour of the week I forgot to put the coriander I bought especially from the green grocer’s on my Valentine’s meal last week. I was beyond gutted when I remembered the next evening and awoke the morning after that with the waking thought ‘I can’t believe I forgot the coriander’. True story.
Cook book of the moment: Healing Foods – Neal Yard. I went back to work today after a weeks holiday, this was waiting for me on my desk having ordered it from The Book People who come to my work occasionally, at a fabulous bargain of £5. I can’t wait to get stuck in.
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I love gnocchi. In fact, if Hollies were a species then text books would note:
- Habitat: kitchen.
- Diet: Gnocchi.
When it comes to gnocchi, in my opinion there is no excuse not to make it yourself, it is so simple. I’ve tried many a different flour but I think I have settled on white spelt flour, I do also love using wholemeal spelt flour though. Plain flour works just as well too, I just have a thing about different flours, spelt in particular. Although when it comes to bread then I am all about Allinson’s Country Grain. This lead to the rather embarrassing moment of my boyfriend asking me early on in our relationship what my favourite flower was and me responding with ‘Country Grain’. Had this conversation been via text I would have seen the error of my ways before making such a blundering mistake. Thankfully the boy likes bread, so all is well.
This recipe is a staple of mine and a product of many trial and errors along the way. I use this recipe to make the gnocchi itself but prefer to leave my basil leaves whole and in the sauce as opposed to in the gnocchi. I also use approximately 700 times as much basil. The ‘sauce’ was inspired by my mum’s friend who begged me to go and try Jamie Oliver’s courgette gratin recipe. I looked online to no avail for Jamie’s recipe but managed to cobble together something from recipes I found.
- 1 portion of gnocchi
- A handful of fresh basil
- 2 tbsp of low fat creme fraiche
- 15g grated parmesan
- 1 courgette, thinly chopped
- 150g mushrooms, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Half a vegetable stock cube/1tsp of bouillon vegetable stock powder.
- Preheat the over to 180°C
- In a frying pan fry the garlic, courgette and mushrooms until they start to colour.
- Pour a splash of boiling water over the vegetables until they are just covered, add the stock cube and let the courgette soften (10 mins approx, less if you’re really hungry).
- Add the basil, creme fraiche and Parmesan to the pan and stir, then add the gnocchi.
- Put the contents of the pan into a casserole dish or equivalent and bake for 30 mins.
- Season as you see appropriate, I vote nutmeg.
This dish tastes decadent and comforting, a satisfying Italian hug but a feel good hug that comes in at just under 500 calories. Just my type.
P.S. Note the BEAUTIFUL chopping board my grandparents gave me in the background of this picture. Never have I been SO excited about a chopping board as the day this became mine and unbelievably, yes, I have been excited about a chopping board before.