Warm Basil Gnocchi Salad with Carpaccio of Tomatoes

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
Prep:
30 min
Cook:
45 min

Yield:
10 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, preferably a mixture of red, yellow, orange and variegated
  • 10 handfuls salad greens
  • 1/2 recipe Gnocchi, recipe follows
  • About 3 1/2 ounces ricotta salata cheese or Parmesan
Directions
  • In a medium or large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Taste for balance and adjust with olive oil or lemon as necessary. Using a mandoline or sharp chef's knife, slice the tomatoes as thinly as possible and arrange on a large platter. Season with salt and pepper and spoon a little of the vinaigrette over the tomatoes. Toss the lettuce with a little more of the dressing and arrange on top of the tomatoes.

  • When the gnocchi has drained, place in the bowl with the remaining vinaigrette. Toss gently, then scatter the gnocchi on the salad. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the cheese over the salad and serve immediately.

For the gnocchi:
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes

  • Coarse salt

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper

  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting or use store bought gnocchi (1 pound fresh or frozen)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  • Bake potatoes until very soft on a bed of coarse salt in a baking dish, about 45 minutes. (The salt keeps the potatoes from touching the dish and developing a hard spot.) Cool potatoes until warm, then halve lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. Pass the flesh through a food mill or ricer, or push it through a coarse sieve. You should have about 4 cups.

  • In a bowl, combine potato, egg yolks, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Work the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add 1 cup of the flour and knead very gently, patting and pressing the dough with your hands until all the flour is incorporated. Add some or all of the additional 1/4 cup flour if the dough feels too moist, it should be soft but shouldn't stick to your hands. Transfer dough to a work surface and roll into a log about 3 inches in diameter. Cut the log into 8 equal pieces.

  • Give each piece a quarter-turn so that you are rolling the dough in a different direction, then roll into ropes, a generous 1/2-inch in diameter, as if making breadsticks. Flour the ropes generously, and then cut crosswise at 1/2-inch intervals. You can shape the gnocchi on a ridged butter paddle or on the back of a fork, or you can cook them as is. Let them dry at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before cooking

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the gnocchi and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface. Remove with a skimmer, drain well.

  • Cook's Note: Although you need only a half batch of gnocchi for this recipe, take the time to make a whole batch, freeze half, and reap the rewards of your effort later.

  • A carpaccio is paper thin slices of a food such as tomatoes that can turn a simple supper into an elegant meal.


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    Basil Gnocchi

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen