Whole Garden Gnocchi


Who knew I could feed myself from a front yard garden alone? Other than the flour, I grew everything for this dish in my small, urban yard; potatoes, garlic, chard, tomatoes and squash.

I may have mentioned my front yard transformation last spring. With the help of a great neighbour, a dumping of dirt, a seed catalogue and some eager kids, we transferred lawn into an edible space.

Less the brussels sprouts and the chard, most of the garden now harvested. There were the three varieties of potatoes; Peruvian Reds, Blue and Russian Fingerlings, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Butternut Squash, sweet Yellow Pear Tomatoes just for this dish alone. (It doesn’t even hint at the edamame, peas, beans, beets, asparagus, blueberries, herbs, okra, cabbages, zucchini, pumpkins… corn… wow!)

After digging up a surplus of potatoes, I needed a few ideas on what to do with them. With BBQ season pretty much a thing of the past, potato salad wasn’t topping my list as much as the gnocchi. Besides, I just had to when I saw the light pinkiness of the potatoes and the great texture that was perfect for such a thing.

Feeding yourself all on your own, that’s local.
Now, that’s something to be thankful for!

PERUVIAN PINK POTATO GNOCCHI

1Lb Potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed (you can use other starchy potatoes, like Russetts as well)
1 Cup All Purpose Flour, plus more for rolling.
1/4 teaspoon Salt

In a large bowl, finely mash the cooked potatoes so they are lump free.
Add the salt and half of the flour then add 1/4 cup at a time stirring to combine and bring everything together in a smooth dough. You may not need it all.
Depending on your work surface, third or quarter the dough. Take one piece and cover remaining pieces.
Roll the dough into long “snakes” and cut into 1″ pieces.
Roll each piece off the back of a floured fork and repeat finishing all of the dough.
Drop into salted boiling water and cook gnocchi until they float; about 3 – 4 minutes.

While the gnocchi were boiling I made the “sauce” of tomatoes, chard, squash and garlic.
I cubed the peeled, cleaned squash and sautéed it, covered in a large, lightly oiled pan. Once the pieces began to soften, I removed the lid to let the stem escape and pieces brown.
I added two cloves of finely chopped garlic and the chard to cook for another two minutes.
Once the chard had wilted, I added 1 cup of sliced yellow pear tomatoes, salt, pepper and a palmful of chopped basil.
Simple and delicious.

Thanksgiving Weekend Eve (Canadian Style)


Here we are, the weekend I lust after for most of the year. Yes, call me crazy but I love Thanksgiving more than lets say, Christmas. Frankly, I’m thankful for Thanksgiving.

This morning’s drive north to the farm was glorious. Enjoying the warmth of an Indian Summer, the leaves were blazing red in the temperate breeze. The corn stalks have turned tan and the green ground cover has been replaced in most parts with a see of orange pumpkins.

It was not a hard decision to go fully local this year. The bounty is tough to argue with.
At the farm, the over-sized broccoli and cauliflower heads were no match for the cabbages which were easily the size of the pumpkins awaiting Halloween.
Genuine Brussel sprouts were proudly displayed, complete with their stalks rendering them hardly recognizable as grocery store produce, were only recently picked and ready for this weekend’s picky eaters.
I could hardly fit this cornucopia of my future feast into the car, when I was seduced by the countryside’s apple orchard markers.

The midday sun was ablaze as we set out to find the perfect tree. Countless gleaming red apples practically jumped into my bag knowing that they would be Sunday’s pie, or next week’s apple butter… Eighteen pounds later, I managed to wedge my sweet spheres into the car and made my trip back into the envious city.

The Menu

Heirloom Tomato Soup
Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Cinnamon Orange Cranberries
“Turkey”
Green Beans
Sautéed brussels sprouts
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Butternut Squash & Spinach Casserole
Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

Pumpkin Pie
Apple Galette

I will be sure to post all recipes. If you’d like, leave your request for the order in the comments and I’ll get to the most demanded.
In the meantime, this is what I prepared first….

SPICED ORANGE CRANBERRY SAUCE

3/4Lb Fresh Cranberries, frozen will do
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Cup Sugar
1 Stick of Cinnamon, 2-3″ piece

Pick over and rinse the cranberries.
Into a large pot, combine the cranberries with the juice and sugar.
Drop in the cinnamon stick and bring everything to a boil for about 5 minutes, or until the cranberries have begun to pop.
Continue to simmer until slightly thickened and reduced.
Remove the cinnamon stick, if desired cover or can.
Cranberries will keep preserved or in the fridge for a week.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.