This morning I was scouring the internet for some new ideas for dishes to experiment with. There are a couple of events coming up and I’ll bring a dish, so it would be fun to try some new things.  Saveur always offers something fantastic, and I spent easily an hour wandering through their catalogue of recipes.  I want to try the Herbed Tomato Tart, but perhaps not until I can buy tomatoes for less than $4 a pound.  Instead, pears are readily available and easy, so maybe this Pear and Walnut Tart for one event, and this Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage for the vegetarian dish.  I haven’t tried gnocchi before, though I love to eat it. I wonder if it’s hard.

At one time, that would have stopped me. I would have gone on to try something a little less daunting. These days, I’ve cooked enough bad dishes that if I don’t successfully carry one off, it’s not some overwhelming disaster, but an opportunity to learn something new.  Anyone have tips for cooking gnocchi?

Also: I love this photograph, which is taken by Todd Sullivan, for Saveur Magazine. (It’s time for a new camera and the next step in lessons.  I have a lot of photos of gardens and foods coming up, and it would be fun to get a bit better at it.)  In this photo, the food looks easy and interesting and nourishing, but it’s the light that catches me, the quiet spirit of what feels like it would be a hearty simple meal.  Just off screen, I imagine, is a decanter of some pleasant table wine and a crusty loaf of bread.  A window overlooking a wild kitchen garden, dormant at the moment, but fecund in summer. What do you see?

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6 thoughts on “

  1. Gnocchi seems to be the downfall of Top Chef. That and risotto. So I admire your esprit de cuisine for going for it. I just finished cooking a birthday cake four times. Four times! Darn designs.

    And I think you’ve got a great description for the photo. Now that’s all I see! =)

  2. I noticed that on Top Chef. Luckily, I don’t have to please a panel of judges!

  3. stephanie

    I’ve made gnocchi a few times and I’m batting .500. I will say that when I try to save electricity by boiling the potatoes I make a very wonderful wallpaper paste. The key for me is to bake the potatoes [next time I’m using the crockpot for ease and less power usage] in order to dry out the potatoes as much as possible.

  4. Good tip. I wonder if certain kinds of potatoes make better gnocchi than others?

  5. Ruthie

    Watching Fabio and Mike Isabella make gnocchi on Top Chef made my mouth water. I doubt I’d ever attempt to make it. Very intimidating. Lidia Bastianich probably has a recipe on her website. Good luck, Barbara. Remember, light and fluffy :)

  6. Auntie L

    Of Course the potatoes make a difference!

    In Italy of course they use Italian potatoes, I have no idea of the variety, but we were told that using red russets — the best potatoes for mashing work best for gnocci.

    BTW I just ran across my gnocci paddles while packing. I’d forgotten I’d bought some as a fork works just fine.

    I’m late in responding to this; how did the dishes turn out?

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