I love a good bowl of gnocchi, and after you master the basic method, it can be nice to play with simple additions to the dough. A generous blend of freshly picked herbs is one of the simplest and most delicious I know of, and you can play around with all kinds of fun combinations to make your own blend with what's growing.
Herb gnocchi tips
I generally add only soft herbs to gnocchi like this, but, if you have a little rosemary, sage, or thyme, you could add a very small amount (start with a teaspoon) in combination with more soft/delicate herbs like parsley and chives.
I like to add a lot of alliums, things like wild onion greens, finely chopped ramp leaves, seeds, or flowers, usually about 50% of the total volume.
The biggest blend of herbs in small amounts will give the most interesting flavor. If you can taste a soft melange of herbs when you eat them, but have trouble picking out exactly what they are-that's a good sign you did a good job. The sum should be greater than the parts, so to speak.
Wild Herb Gnocchi
- 1.5 lb russet potatoes
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup finely chopped mixed fresh herbs greatest variety possible
- Zest of half a medium-sized lemon or to taste
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup all purpose flour plus more for rolling out the dough
- Steam the potatoes for 30 minutes or until very tender, alternately you can simmer them gently until they can be pierced with a knife, but don’t over cook them.
- Remove the potatoes to a bowl to cool.
- Peel the potatoes, cutting thin slices off with a knife. Discard the skins, then rice the potato, moving quickly to not let them cool down.
- Mix the riced potato with the egg yolk, salt, zest and herbs, tasting a little to gauge if you want a little more of this or that.
- Gently mix in (don’t knead) the flour to make a dough, then roll the dough into logs about ¾ inch in diameter, cut into small morsels, toss gently with flour and roll off a gnocchi board onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
- From here the gnocchi can be cooked straight away, or frozen for storage and cooked directly from the freezer.
- Freeze the gnocchi until rock solid, then transfer to a zip top bag until needed.
To cook gnocchi from frozen
- To cook the gnocchi from frozen, bring a large pasta pot (at least 1 gallon or preferably more) of lightly salted water to a rolling boil, add the gnocchi, stir, cover the pan to help it heat up quickly, bring it back to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and wait for the gnocchi to float, with the lid on to trap the heat.
- After the gnocchi float, allow them to cook for 1 minute more, then remove to the pan with your sauce, or toss in a bowl.
Par cooking gnocchi
- Alternately, rinse the gnocchi in warm water to remove starch, drain, toss with oil, and keep in the fridge spread out on a tray in a single layer covered with cling film for a couple hours to par cook them, then slip them into a sauce and heat through. Par cooked gnocchi in the fridge will get gummy if left overnight.