Monday, August 12

Summer Gnocchi Caprese

I've been making this dish every summer for the past few years but I usually don't bother with it during the winter months because using fresh tomatoes and basil is essential.  This caprese salad-meets-gnocchi idea started with the abundance of tomatoes I was getting every August.  It's one of those dishes that's very simple but high quality ingredients are essential.  Use fresh gnocchi (or make your own), and splurge on some good mozzarella.  If you aren't growing your own tomatoes this summer, hopefully your grocery store is stocking up on all of the local farmer's beautiful produce.

I prefer to cook minimally during the hottest parts of summer, and so the only reason to use your stove is to boil the fresh gnocchi for 2 minutes.  Everything else is prepped and kept raw, with the exception of the grilled chicken.

  • 2 lbs. gnocchi
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 packed cup of fresh basil
  • chopped parsley to taste
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped (you may want to core them slightly to remove excess water)
  • 2 Tbsp. grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiana 
  • 1 lb. fresh mozarella, diced into 1" cubes
  • salt and pepper to taste

In your food processor, blend the garlic, olive oil, Pecorino Romano, fresh basil and parsley thoroughly.  You want to make sure that the garlic is minced as finely as possible because it won't be cooked.

Next, add the chopped tomatoes and pulse the food processor just a few times to chop the tomatoes to your liking.  Personally, I prefer to not over-blend the fresh tomatoes.

Boil and drain the gnocchi, then mix it thoroughly into the fresh tomato sauce.  Afterwards carefully fold in the diced mozzarella pieces.  Top with some additional Pecorino Romano.

If you're eyeing up the "chicken" on the side of my plate, I used Quorn's chik'n cutlets.  They were marinated for about an hour in olive oil, parsley, basil, salt, pepper, a chopped clove of garlic and a tablespoon of chopped onion.  I grilled them for a few minutes on each side, and they were ready to serve.  This recipe would also work with real chicken breasts, but why not do a meat-free protein?  (It's seriously delicious!)

PS. This was not a sponsored post.

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