Crispy Gnocchi Salad and Grilled Swordfish
Before I start, I must give a shout out to Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame. She recently published a wonderful cookbook called Super Natural Cooking, and it's a beautiful collection of recipes and photos that you must run out and buy right now! The book focuses on whole grains, vegetables, and other good-for-you stuff but has a fresh perspective, turning things like cannelini beans into a mouthwatering side dish or telling you how to get delicious crispy egg rolls in the oven, not the fryer. If you're feeling sluggish and want to know creative ways to put more power foods into your diet, pick up this book. Even if you're not feeling sluggish, go out and get this book! You won't regret it.
Although this recipe isn't in the cookbook (it's on her blog), the minute I saw her post on Golden, Crispy Gnocchi I knew it was a dish I had to make. I did deviate from the recipe based on what was in my fridge, but the concept of browning gnocchi in a bit of butter and then tossing it with vegetables or shelled beans never occurred to me until I saw that post. How brilliant is that?! I do love gnocchi but avoided making it often due to its heaviness; this was a way to enjoy the little nuggets in a much lighter way, and let me tell you- it was a hit. J's parents came to our house for dinner the other night and I served it along with some grilled swordfish and we couldn't stop eating the gnocchi "salad."
I didn't have any of the shelled beans that Heidi used in her version, so I just cut up some steamed haricot verts, sautéed some portabella mushrooms in a bit of butter and thyme, then tossed both with the golden gnocchi and cherry tomatoes and mixed it all with some finely grated Parmigianino-Regianno. The warm gnocchi and mushrooms melted the cheese and enveloped the whole dish with the nutty, salty flavor of it. The crisp hericot verts and sweet cherry tomatoes were the perfect compliment. I haven't fallen this hard for a side dish since discovering the wonder of puy lentils, although this certainly would make a substantial, vegetarian main course as well. It'll be appearing (in many variations, no doubt) on our table often this summer.
The swordfish I purchased at Fish King in Glendale was so gorgeous that it didn't need anything but a light brushing of scallion olive oil which I whipped up in the mini Cuisnart, some sea salt and black pepper. After about five minutes per side (these were thick!) on the grill and a sprinkling of some Meyer lemon juice, they were ready. Although swordfish is certainly not the cheapest fish, I have to say that the cost was far cheaper than if we had eaten this meal out, and it fed five people, so it was quite the bargain. If you live in the LA area and have a craving for swordfish, run to Fish King and get some......they were succulent, moist and simply delicious.
Super Natural Cooking
720 North Glendale Avenue
Glendale, California 91206
Phone: (818) 244-2161