Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Sage Brown Butter Sauce – gluten free, vegetarian, paleo “friendly”
Growing up with divorced parents afforded me the best of both worlds: I learned how to cook with my father and I learned how to order really well in restaurants with my mother. Speaking of my moms, I not only inherited her freckles and crazy energy, but her love of all things dumpling. Without.a.doubt, when we were eating Italian, she would order the gnocchi and the obsession rubbed off on me.
Gnocchi are cute little delicious dumplings that are often made from potatoes, so not pasta at all. I read recently that Trader Joe’s was coming out with frozen cauliflower gnocchi so I was inspired to make my own, healthy, superfood packed version. I decided to keep the potato in my recipe, but obviously used Sweet Potatoes instead of white. Sweet potatoes are FULL of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins B and C AND the antioxidant beta-carotene. Don’t get me started on my love for cauliflower (you can read previous posts!) but this fiber rich veggie is also a powerhouse with antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Knowing that I would need a little something to bind the two, I decided on gluten free Tapioca Flour, but next time I will see how Arrowroot Flour works; the latter also being a gluten free thickening agent, that may be slightly more nutritious but still helps us avoid the corn in standard thickeners like corn starch.
1 baked organic sweet potato (medium size)
Florets from 1 head of organic cauliflower
2 Tbs tapioca flour
1 egg and 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbs grass fed butter (I use Kerrygold grass fed butter)
about 10 leaves of sage
Salt and pepper
- Bake the sweet potato. I simply put it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour, cooled so that you can scoop out the flesh.
- Steam the cauliflower florets until they are very soft and tender (so overdone in my book!) I used a stove top steamer, but I’m sure you can microwave over water.
- Wring out as much of the liquid from the cauliflower as possible. You can do this by using a kitchen towel (and squeezing it out) OR by putting it through a potato ricer, pushing just enough to squeeze out the water, not the vegetable.
- In a food processor, blend the cauliflower, egg, egg yolk, salt and parmesan cheese until its a smooth puree.
- Add the tapioca flour and blend only until thoroughly mixed (don’t over do it). – Transfer this mixture to a large bowl.
- Work the sweet potato flesh through the ricer and then gently mix into the cauliflower puree with a fork or spoon (never ever put potato into a food processor because it will turn to gum – not yum).
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and cover with a light layer of olive oil so the gnocchi won’t stick.
- Using a pastry bag w/ pipe OR a ziplock bag with the end cut off, pipe rows of the mixture onto the parchment paper. You can use a fork to make grooves in them little dumplings like traditional gnocchi. I didn’t because that was too high maintenance and the fam was HUNGRY.
- Bake them at around 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until they get slightly browned and firm-ish. Note that they won’t get as hard as boiled traditional gnocchi and will stay on the delicate side.
- Towards the end of their baking time, start the brown butter sauce. I used a small cast iron pot and melted the butter with a touch of olive oil over med high heat until just starting to turn a nice tan color.
- Add the sage and pan fry until they are slightly crispy. I then sprinkled a bit of salt into the sauce. (Note that I considered adding garlic but felt it would overpower the delicate sweet and savory taste of the gnocchi).
- Very carefully, toss the slightly cool gnocchi with the brown butter sage sauce. I topped our dish with some additional parmesan cheese and served immediately!!