Friday, 12 March 2010

Mottled Beetroot Gnocchi

I actually enjoy eating gnocchi and it was the fresh home-made one that got me liking them. My first ever attempt was with Nadine Abensurs dolcelatte gnocchi and I was completely sold. The last time I made gnocchi from scratch was last year with freshly picked stinging nettles from the allotment plot. Nettle gnocchi may not sound appealing, especially as its a wild weed, but if you trust my taste buds at all, please let me tell you nettles are really tasty. The only flavour I can compare nettles too are turnip greens. If you’re a stinging nettle virgin I recommend perhaps trying it first in a simple soup, then you can expand your repertoire: nettle risotto maybe, another delicious concoction.
Here I have made some beetroot gnocchi, the recipe did specify to puree the beetroot, but I just decided to blitz it in the food processor, because I like a bit of texture. It worked out very well.

Visually I’d describe the gnocchi as mottled beetroot clouds, but they were not exactly light like clouds but nor were they stodgy. Believe it or not it was really good gnocchi with the subtle earthiness of beetroot coming through. D really enjoyed it but thought perhaps a goats cheese would have complimented the flavour of the beetroot a little more. And me, well I have to admit although I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with beetroot, I can’t say the same for eating it. I won’t say I like eating beetroot, but I actually don’t mind it and that’s a good relation to have with a vegetable, don't you think?!
Mottled Beetroot gnocchi in lemon thyme oil
Serves 4
For the lemon thyme oil
200ml Olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 Lemon or 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of Fresh thyme leaves, even better if you can get hold of lemon thyme
For the gnocchi
600g/1lb 5oz floury potatoes, peeled and mashed au naturale (no butter)
125g/5oz cooked beetroot, blitzed in a food processor or grated
1 large free-range egg (optional: see note below)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
300g/1lb plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: goat cheese for serving
For the lemon thyme oil
Put all the ingredients into a bottle or jar and swirl for the flavours to infuse. Leave aside while you get on with the gnocchi.
Toast the pine nuts in the oven until golden, set aside.
For the gnocchi
Gently stir the beetroot into the mashed potatoes until well combined.
Make a well in the centre of the potato mixture. Crack in the egg and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the flour and mix to form a dough. Knead lightly for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Divide the mixture into four or five pieces and roll into 2cm diameter ropes. Cut each rope into 1 inch pieces.
In batches, drop some gnocchi into a large pan of boiling water. When the gnocchi rises to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, divide the warm gnocchi among eight serving dishes. Scatter over the pine nuts and drizzle over some flavoured oil, warmed a little if you wish.
Note: Whilst I was making the gnocchi, I found the texture of the mashed potatoes, beetroot and flour pliable that I did not think it required an egg, so use your judgement if you wish to make a vegan version. Adapted from here.


  1. I absolutely love beets, and this looks fabulous. I have never tried stinging nettle, but intend to, and I appreciate the info. about using it, very interesting and I am bookmarking this page. Thanks, and hope you have a lovely weekend!

  2. I'm a lover of beetroot and have also dabbled in gnocchi making as well, so it would be interesting to try the two together.

    The picture though made me think that you took photos of bits of meat???? :)

  3. What a lovely idea! Sounds scrummy with goats cheese!

  4. They sound fascinating enough to try. I love beets. Maybe with a little gorgonzola cream sauce and some toasted walnuts?

  5. I have never eaten gnocchi, though your beetroot version sounds delicious. I'm learning lots of new ways to eat beetroot from the recipes you share.

  6. Wow! love the colour of the gnocchi...healthy and delicious!

  7. Thank you so much Janet.
    Please if you do get the opportunity, do try nettle.
    You have a lovely weekend too, I'm sure I will!

    Thanks Kella,
    I didn't know what you were saying when you wrote 'the picture ...made you think that I took picture of meat', but looking with my suspect eyes, I completely see what you mean and can actually see that they can be seen that way, but I assure you it is completely vegetarian.

    Thank you Janice.

    Thank you for coming by Rashmi.

    Thank you Vic.

    Im with you on that Jen S, a little gorgonzola cream sauce and some toasted walnuts woudl be a great addition.

    Thank you so much Jo.
    I realy do appreciate you kind comment.
    I do think gnocchi is an aquired taste too, so please do try it, its a bit like a hearty dumpling.

    Thank you Rachana. It sure is an interesting colour. Not exactly pink, but different.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog!
    I'm fairly new to beets/beetroot, but I'm a lover of gnocchi!!

  9. Thank you so much for coming by Suzanne.

  10. MMMMMMM,...your beet gnocchi look wonderful,..I so love the flavour of beets!

  11. These look fantastic, Mango. I love gnocchi, and the beetroot give them a glorious color.

  12. Thank you Barbara.
    The beetroot colour certainly gives the gnocchi its look.

  13. That looks so yummy! I will have to try it for sure!


If you’ve tried one of my recipes, Please let me know by leaving a comment below or tagging me social media with @SeasonalShaheen.

Thank You