Gnocchi, I Love Thee
An edible ode to these bouncy potato dumplings
This newsletter was going to be about my escapades making borscht, but life had other plans and an intensive examination of the beet stew of my heritage wasn’t in the cards this time round (It’s been a busy start to 2022, and sometimes you just don’t have time to lovingly coax a stew out of hibernation). Instead, I present a quick and dirty recipe that is an ode to my love of gnocchi.
A Wintry Dinner of Crispy Gnocchi and Kielbasa with Brown Butter Sauerkraut Vinaigrette
I like to think of the gnocchi as cheat’s pierogi. My rationale? 1. they are made of potatoes and have a springy, gooey quality not dissimilar to pierogi, and 2. they are delicious when crisped up a bit and served with onions. In this weeknight dinner, I crisp them up along with some cubed kielbasa before tossing the whole thing in a simple “vinaigrette” of brown butter, lemon juice, sauerkraut, cider vinegar and mustard. While I didn’t have cabbage on hand, it would be make a tasty addition. Just cut it up in ribbons and toss it in the brown butter when you’re sauteing the onions.
1 Tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 tsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced
6 Tbsp butter
1 package fresh gnocchi
1 link good kielbasa, cut into cubes
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped sauerkraut (If you can get your hands on it, the refrigerated kind is the way to go!)
1 Tbsp Dijon
1 Tbsp Cider vinegar
pinch black pepper
First, make the dressing:
Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small bowl, taste, and add more salt and pepper as needed. There is no oil added at this point because the brown butter will be added later.
Then, cook the onions and kielbasa…
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add the onions and kielbasa, cooking until the onions are soft and translucent (about 8 minutes) and the kielbasa starts to get crisped and brown. Scrape out into a bowl and set aside.
Next, brown the butter…
Wipe out the nonstick skillet and melt 6 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently with a spatula, until the butter begins to brown and smell nutty and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Pour into the dressing and whisk together thoroughly.
Now, cook the gnocchi:
Heat 1 tsp oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook gnocchi, stirring occasionally and letting them crisp up on each side, about 10-15 minutes. Add the kielbasa and onions and stir.
Finally, toss it all together:
Scrape the gnocchi, onion and kielbasa mixture into a bowl and pour the dressing on top. Toss and serve.
Wow, that looks like a very comforting winter dinner!