Light and delicate Ricotta Gnocchi, tossed with Braised Radishes are a quick and perfect June dinner.
Recently, I gave a ricotta-making demonstration for Rural Vermont, an agricultural advocacy group here in Vermont. The class was held at my friend Lisa Kaiman's Jersey Girls Dairy, just down the road in Chester. I had a great time explaining my technique for making ricotta, meeting some very nice people, and spending some quality time with the Jersey Girls:
Lisa's cows aren't just pretty; they produce some truly superlative milk. I've been making cheese from it for several years, and I can vouch for the value of rotational grazing and TLC. That evening, Lisa also hosted an ice cream social to benefit Rural Vermont, right in the cow barn! It's that clean and neat.
|Ice cream in the Barn|
I didn't bring Heidi, but maybe I should have..
Back at the ranch, the garden is starting to produce the first vegetables of the season: radishes, arugula, lettuce, and chinese cabbage. Mr. Know Whey has acquired a DR chipper, and is chopping up the brush piles to make walkways between the raised beds. I brought in my first big bunch of French Breakfast radishes the other day and tossed them in the sink:
I decided to braise the radishes, and make ricotta gnocchi that would echo the shape of the radishes. The reduced braising liquid would coat and flavor the gnocchi, and tie the flavors together. The resulting dish has a lovely fresh quality that I think you will like.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Braised Radishes
12 ounces ricotta, preferably homemade
1 extra large or jumbo egg
pinch of nutmeg
several grinds of salt and pepper
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 or 3 fresh sage leaves
1/3 cup flour
1. Prepare Braised Radishes; set aside.
- Clean and trim a large bunch of radishes, leaving a short bit of clean, green stem. Trim off taproot.
- Place in covered saute pan with 2 cups of chicken stock, 1/4 tsp salt and 3 T. butter
- Cover and cook on medium heat until radishes are fork-tender (about 10 minutes for fresh radishes, possibly longer for large radishes or those purchased elsewhere)
- Uncover the pan and reduce the juices until only a rosy glaze remains.
2. In a food processor with blade attached, combine ricotta, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.
3. Pour flour on the counter, and dump the soft gnocchi mixture on top. Add the parmesan cheese, and fold in the flour to form a soft dough.
4. Form: Lightly flour a gnocchi board, and roll 1 teaspoon gently down the board to form the gnocchi. Roll off the end of the board onto a floured plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough. (If you don't have a gnocchi board, form the dough into oblongs, then groove with the tines of a fork).
5. Drop the gnocchi into gently boiling water and poach for 3 or 4 minutes, until done through. Test for doneness, and then drain.
6. Add the hot gnocchi to the finished radishes and glaze in the pan. Toss briefly to coat, then serve. Garnish with snipped fresh sage leaves from the garden, and serve with fresh arugula!