beet gnocchi

[19 Mar 2012 | By | 7 Comments]

beet gnocchi

Yes there are hearts on the towel and yes: the beets are red and okay… I made this for Valentine’s day. But I make it other days too—and so can you. It is simple to make, easy to freeze and maybe a smidgen healthier than their potato-only cousin.

I recently hosted a cooking class based on 3 kinds of gnocchi and a trio of Italian desserts. We made sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sage sauce, beet gnocchi with poppy seed butter sauce and traditional gnocchi—sauteed with vegetables. And since you want to know: dessert was tiramisu, arborio rice pudding and biscotti with Vin Santo. Needless to say, class attendees quickly became gnocchi-making experts—and walked away quite full! (Here is a great step by step re: making gnocchi).

Beet Gnocchi with Poppy Seed Butter Sauce

350 g potatoes (or 3 medium), cooked and peeled
200 g red beets, cooked (3-4 medium), cooked and peeled
1 large egg
flour (1 cup or more)

5-6 T butter
1-2 T poppy seeds

Cook, peel and put beets and potato through a potato ricer, to blend. Add egg, salt and pepper and flour and mix with your hands. If it feels dry, feel free to add another small egg. Add only enough flour so it isn’t sticky, and don’t over-process. Here are some good gnocchi-making instructions for a cross-reference.

Once you have formed a ball, cut off chunks of the dough (roughly 1-2 cups worth) and roll out into a long snake, 3/4 inch in diameter. Use flour only as needed, so it doesn’t stick. Cut 3/4 inch pieces to make gnocchi. Then using gnocchi paddles or a fork, press each piece onto fork thing ‘flick’ it off end of fork onto counter. Toss with semolina or rice flour so they don’t stick to each other. Freeze on single layer tray, then put in bags for long-term freezer storage.

Whether gnocchi comes straight from being made or directly from your freezer: add to boiling salted water (1-2 cups at a time) until they float. When they float: they are done. You can either serve them directly and/or saute them for a crispy edge.

To make sauce: melt butter in saucepan, when it starts to bubble add poppy seeds. Let cook another 1-2 minutes then off heat and toss in bowl with gnocchi. Serve immediately. Yes: the beets pictured below are yellow. And yes: you can make gnocchi with yellow beets too. It isn’t always Valentine’s Day after all.

golden beets

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  • Adam Goldblatt said (21 March 2012 at 4:49 pm):

    This looks great. How many does your recipe serve?

  • Janelle (author) said (22 March 2012 at 1:58 pm):

    Adam: good question. Depends how much people eat, and if you combine it in a quick sautee with vegetables (which can increase number of servings). This batch probably 8-10.

  • Seb @ Portable Chicken Coop said (24 March 2012 at 3:44 pm):

    Janelle, what a great recipe. I never would have thought of using beets. Grazie.

  • Saloni said (1 October 2012 at 2:17 pm):

    I really struggled with this recipe. How do you recommend cooking the beets and potatoes? I cooked the beets at 400F in foil packets for 1.5 hrs and they were cooked to the point I usually find in salads.. .I’ve never had soft beets… The beets would not go through the ricer. I tried to cut up the beets but only juice came out.

  • Janelle (author) said (9 October 2012 at 9:03 pm):

    Saloni: yes! I have made it many times where the beets didn’t cooperate. They have to be cooked until a fork goes in very easily. If the ricer doesn’t work, try the food processor! Super soft is key!

  • Saloni said (25 October 2012 at 10:31 am):

    Approximately how long do you want to cook them? And boil or roast?

  • Janelle (author) said (26 October 2012 at 12:07 pm):

    Saloni: this is such a cheater answer, but: as long as it takes. I would just test them until you can slide the fork right in. Boiling might be your best option—love that idea. If you try it, LMK if it works?!