This dish was prompted after eating one of the best meals of my life at Alba in Des Moines and an explicit (positive) text message from a good friend about turnips. I sought to basically recreate a dish, and it was reasonably successful. I used this recipe as a starting point, but I modified the pesto due to ingredients on hand and added some veggies. The only thing I wasn’t thrilled about was the gnocchi texture (a little gummy), which is a pretty common experience for me when I make gnocchi. If anyone has pointers, I would love to hear them.
Crispy Gnocchi with Turnips, Baby Bellas, and Pesto
Serves 2 Hungry Adults and 1 Hungry Toddler
1 lb. package gnocchi
2 T. butter
4 T. olive oil, divided in half
4 small turnips (or more if you have it), cut in half and sliced very thinly
4 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced very thinly
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pistachios
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2-4 T. water
1. Make the pesto. Pulse the garlic, basil, and pistachios in a food processor until they resemble a course paste. Keep scraping down the sides. Add the olive oil while the machine is running and continue processing until everything is well blended. Add the cheese, salt, and pepper, and pulse again. This is where I added water until it was the texture I wanted. I’m sure this could also be done later, but my food processor needed a bit more liquid to keep everything moving.
2. Prepare the gnocchi according to package directions. (I boiled mine for 2 minutes in salted water). Drain thoroughly.
3. Melt butter with 2 T. of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add turnips to skillet. Stir to coat with oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and try to leave them alone for a few minutes so they start to brown before you turn them. Stir occasionally. When turnips are almost soft (probably 5 minutes or so), add mushrooms to skillet. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally. After about 5 more minutes, the mushrooms will probably be browning, and the turnips should be softening and brown and crunchy on some of the edges.
4. When the veggies are finished, add 2 more T. of olive oil to skillet and let it heat up. Then add the gnocchi, stir to coat, and let it sit for 3-4 minutes, so it starts to get crispy on the edges. Give everything a good stir. I had to repeat this a few times for the gnocchi to have some browning on the edges.
5. When your gnocchi is cooked to your liking, add the pesto to the pan and stir to coat. Serve immediately. Enjoy–I know we did!