Monday, May 10, 2010

nettle gnocchi

my hermitness continued today and it was only bolstered by the on-off storm happening in the city today.

as i was working throughout the morning, it was with surreal comfortableness that i slipped back into my work day as if this massive change in my life didn't just happen. this wasn't the first time that i have been thankful that i have a job that allows me to leverage technology and i doubt it will be the last. the sun managed to peek out a bit during the afternoon and i thought that would be an excellent time to take a break, step away from the computer, and make myself some lunch.

since i discovered that the "sting" is taken out of "stinging nettles" when you blanch them, i decided to just cook the rest of the batch i bought from knoll farms. i often have cooked greens hanging out in my fridge for last minute additions to whatever i am making, so i knew that it wasn't going to go to waste. this time, i cooked the nettles for about 2 minutes in the hot water and there was not a bit of numbness or anything when i handled them.

perfecto.

i pretty much decided that i was going to make the nettles with the pre-made gnocchi i had bought at the local market. using a high quality (i.e., pasta shop out of oak-town in case you are curious) pre-made gnocchi allowed me to make my lunch very quickly. once the water was at a boil....i turned on the saute pan with some strauss butter in it so that it would melt. once the butter was halfway melted, i added the pillows of gnocchi into the boiling water.......

and then to the melted butter in the saute pan....i added about a third of a cup of chopped cooked nettles with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and kosher salt.


in about a minute the pillows floated to the top which means they are ready to be taken out.


so i took them out and put them aside. then i swirled around the nettle butter mixture and added some overly toasted pine nuts i did earlier.


oh well. if i was serving a guest i would have redone the nuts...but since it was just for me, i didn't feel like wasting the pine nuts (which aren't exactly cheap). then i added the cooked gnocchi and carefully tossed them in the saute pan.



until they were covered with all of the green stuff.


so lovely.


i could have eaten this "as is" but i also wanted to add a bit of shaved pecorino...


which was a nice touch.


while this was a yummy lunch it wasn't exactly "light"....it was more on the luxurious and heavy side. i definitely needed to take a walk after lunch and drink some strong english tea afterward. yet, i am glad that i made it. i love taking an ingredient that i've never worked with before and just experimenting with it. if you run across nettles, i definitely recommend you giving them a try. i'm already soaking some white beans on my kitchen counter as i think i'll be trying to make something with nettles and white beans next.

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