Watercress pesto you ask? With potato gnocchi? Well, we’re putting a new lease of life on pesto and giving it an upgrade… in 30 minutes.
Equipment needed: A skillet, medium sauce pot and a blender or pestle and mortar.
Active time: 30 minutes start to finish.
Weeknight short cuts at it’s finest, everybody. This dish is simple summer embodied. We swapped out the basil pesto for a more grown up and pepper-y style pesto, made with watercress. I find the flavour of basil pesto a bit to obnoxious for my taste. True confession, and I fully expect the backlash of all the internet foodies, but here it is… I don’t like basil. <- Hard to admit, but true. Who’s with me? Raise your hand! Just me? Yikes. It feels like I’ve failed some sort of foodie test that is a requirement to being a bona fide chef. But, there it is. Don’t get me wrong, basil has a place in my life, just not lots of it and just not often.
So, instead of talking about what this dish isn’t, let’s talk about what it is. This watercress pesto is smooth and creamy, with a peppery hit. The cheese is just regular parmesan. Nothing fancy here folks. Just a special note of mention: make sure that your pine nuts are fresh when you make this, or any pesto for that matter. In restaurants, we tend to buy fresh pine nuts almost every week. It’s true we do go through them really fast, but here’s the deal with pine nuts… they taste like pine! I know when I became a chef, it was a shocker to me too! Often, you’re working with nuts that have been hanging around for a few months and they lose there flavour so quickly. The fast and fresh kitchen deserves fresh ingredients. It will make the world of difference to your pesto.
And let’s get down to the potato gnocchi. We had a fast approach to this and bought a package of gnocchi. We’re talking fast weeknights, here people! I used to be really snobby and obnoxious about this kind of thing… like why don’t people make their own? Then I realised that it’s NBD to buy a little package of potato gnocchi if it means that you get to hustle that much harder after work, or you get to spend an extra hour with your loved ones, or you get to hit the gym or a yoga class in the PM after hustling all day. Respect to you PM workout people! I’m strictly an AM, myself. What matters is that you are making fresh food for yourself and any one in your life. And we know… you gotta make it fast. However, if the urge does strike you here’s a recipe for baked potato gnocchi from start to finish.
We’ve also started something new today, and we’re laying out exactly what you need time wise and equipment wise before you even get to the recipe. Helpful or no? Lemme know in the comments. So, you may think that it’s a lot of equipment, but it’s really not. Picture this… two pans on your four ring stove, and one food processor on your counter. That’s it. Besides cutting the tomatoes, you don’t even need to chop anything. And those gnocchi cook in about 3 minutes flat anyway. So really, this could be a 10 minute meal. Whaaaaat??!
Yeah. Bang everything for the pesto in the food processor. Except the oil. You want to drizzle that in while the whole thing mixes. Do that while the potato gnocchi is boiling. Drain them off, brown them in your non-stick skillet and toss with the pesto. Throw in sliced tomatoes and some extra watercress and pine nuts. Boom. Done.
Pan Fried Potato Gnocchi with Watercress Pesto
- 1 400 g package potato gnocchi
For the pesto
- 45 g parmesan cheese
- 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 100 g watercress
- 2 clove x garlic
- 10 in cherry tomatoes cut half.
Boil gnocchi for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top of the boiling water.
Drain and rinse off under warm water. They can get a little starchy. Drizzle with olive oil.
Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the gnocchi. Toss occasionally until the gnocchi is browned.
Place all the watercress along with the 2 cloves of garlic and 2 Tbsp pine nuts in the food processor. Blend while adding olive oil until a thick consistency is reached.
Toss the some of the pesto with the gnocchi. As much or as little as you want.
Add the cherry tomatoes.
Serve garnished with extra pine nuts, cheese and watercress.