Saturday, August 07, 2010

Gnocchi of Guilt

So two posts in a week. AM I BLOWING YOUR MIND OR WHAT?!?

And it's actually a RECIPE POST!!!! *scraping chunks of your cerebrum off your blinds*

So yes: I am still getting a subscription to Vegetarian Times even though I make fun of it incessantly. And yes: I'm still cooking shit from it although I was a frequent complainer about the tepidness of their recipes. And yes: shock of shocks, I've been finding a string of good food in there as of late. So maybe they're not as hopeless as I'd thought (although again: you really COULD easily post vegan alternatives for many of your recipes, veg times, if you only took the time to add in an "or agave nectar" or "or vegan margarine" etc, but I WON'T GO THERE AGAIN because you've been doing good with the recipes so *deep cleansing breath*).

Anyways, last week I made the Gnocchi with Chickpeas and Seared Broccoli Raab on p. 36 of the Sept. 2010 issue, and DAMN was it good.

I DID end up having to sub in spinach for the broccoli raab though because a) I wasn't sure what broccoli raab even LOOKED like, so I spent like 20 minutes peering closely at various vegetables that looked SUSPICIOUSLY like they could be a raab but then were just, say, kale or something (still not sure what exactly it looks like), and because b) I had THIS conversation with the dude in the produce department:

ME: Excuse me. You don't happen to know if you guys carry broccoli raab, do you?

DUDE: [blank stare]

ME: Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm. I'm not exactly sure what it looks like, so I can't tell if you have it and I'm just not seeing it or what.

DUDE: Broccoli, you say? We carry broccoli. [pointing at broccoli]

ME: Well, no. Broccoli RAAB. Apparently it's different?

DUDE: (looking puzzled and then getting excited and looking like he's had a sudden epiphany) Wait! Do you mean broccoli FLOR-ETS? [here he pronounces florets for me as though I am deeply mentally challenged and incapable of realizing that "raab" is actually pronounced "florets"--he points again at the broccoli]

ME: Um, nevermind.

So needless to say: substitution. That being said, it was a goddamn good substitution and I recommend it in case you are unable to locate broccoli raab (pronounced "florets"). Granted, you can't so much "sear" it, but it's still tasty.

And the recipe's super easy.

And it's got a lovely kind of flowery aromatic lushness to it that will make your tastebuds happy, namely due to the inclusion of reserved sundried tomato oil (so don't skimp and use olive oil or something).

Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the dish, so instead, I give you a picture of my guilt:

  • 8 oz. (1/2 package) gnocchi, such as Gia Russa)

  • 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and quartered, 2 T. oil reserved

  • 1/2 c. reserved cooking water

  • 1/2 onion thinly sliced

  • 1 small bunch broccoli raab, stems trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (4 cups) OR 4 cups baby spinach, rinsed and destemmed

  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • Cook gnocchi according to package directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water.

  • Heat reserved sun-dried tomato oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until beginning to brown. If using broccoli raab: increase heat to high and stir in broccoli raab. Cook 2 to 3 mins until it begins to wilt. If using spinach, well, actually: pretty much the same damn thing, so nevermind.

  • Add sun-dried tomatoes, cooked gnocchi, and chickpeas and cook 2 to 3 mins more or until gnocchi begins to brown. Stir in reserved cooking water and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
(Recipe from Vegetarian Times, Sept. 2010, p. 36)


CPNC said...

That does look tasty, though I share your skepticism about Vegetarian Times. I can actually get broccoli rabe easily here, but I'm having a terrible time finding vegan gnocchi. All the packaged kind seems to contain some milk by-product. Sucks.

I'm suspecting that when the weather gets cooler (you know, like lower sixties!), I'll be so desperate that I'll just make my own.

Anonymous said...

I've seen broccoli raab as rapini:

Katie | perkytoafault said...

I'm glad you're posting again!

I'll keep this in mind; we keep buying broccoli raab at the farmers market and then being like, um, what should we DO with this?

Lindy Loo said...

The Gia Russa regular old gnocchi that you can get at any grocery store in the dried pasta section is actually on the VegCooking shopping guide as vegan, M. Just FYI!

Lenzy said...

Any recipe with gnocchi is an automatic WIN for me. And if you can't find the vegan version in stores, it's super easy (ish) to make from scratch. Om nom nom.

Jenn said...

Mmm gnocchi. I just made the hummus from page 40 of the same issue. I think the VT recipes are getting better and are definitely getting more vegan.

Allysia said...

The lack of broccoli raab is a WIN! It's gross, like turnips gone horrible. But maybe that's just me.

Unknown said...

Broccoli rabe is also called broccolini. It does not taste like broccoli though, it's very bitter. So if you're not into the bitter green you did a good job by subbing spinach in there. Here's what Wiki has to say about it

CPNC said...

I've definitely bought vegan gnocchi before. I had no trouble getting it in Buffalo, but for some reason all the kinds available in stores here contain milk. Like I said, I'll probably eventually suck it up and make my own!

susan said...

someone in the letter to the editors in the past year complained about all the vegan recipes...said it was vegetarian times...not vegan times....

i was also not so into the magazine then last year around thanksgiving they posted the most amazing vegan pot pie recipe...wowee it was good

Anonymous said...

i have found broccoli rabe exactly once in my town, but it was labelled broccolini. normally, i just sub regular broccoli, even though i know it's not as bitter. anyway, i will totally be making this recipe because it sounds easy and awesome. and yeah, veg times is usually really annoying, but i continue to buy it because occasionally i find a few vegan (or, seriously, easily veganizable) recipes and hope that they're good.

Anonymous said...

As a former Clevelander, I know you now have Whole Foods in the area. It's a good place to check for Raab and other oddities - we get a lot of our veggies there when we don't get them at the farmer's markets. They tend to be more organic, and of higher quality, too.

Brandy said...

So funny! I've had that kind of conversation before with store employees. My least favorite is asking them where something is, and having them walk all over the store, looking, and never finding it (they didn't know where it was, either, but they could have said so.) The last person I asked just flat out told me, "I have no idea where those are." This is even more maddening when it's something in that week's ad.

Suz said...

I served at a restaurant once upon a time, and one of the guests asked this:

"Is asparagus pork?"

Your post reminded me of this.

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Talk about a bowlful of yummo.

Found your blog yesterday and made this for dinner last night with a few of my own tweaks. Used super fresh broccoli raab (which BTW is not the same thing as broccolini but is the same thing as rappini)and substituted Tuscan white beans for the chick peas since I'd chowed on hummus at lunch. Also added some red pepper flakes for a little heat. This dish was incredibly tasty and satisfying, and very easy and quick to make. Adding it to my forever rotation. Thanks!

Lauren M said...

Here's my latest experience with broccoli rabe:
Didn't turn out well, but will try again if I find a different brand.

Mike Hunt said...

Veggies are what food eats.