Cauliflower gnocchi is a lighter version of traditional potato gnocchi, replacing potato with cauliflower. I topped it with a homemade kale pesto.
I love gnocchi. They taste soft and pillowy. But gnocchi are full of carbs since they are basically potato and flour. I’ve been able to successfully swap out cauliflower for potatoes in many dishes, so I decided to give it a try with gnocchi.
And success! They aren’t quite as soft, but they are still quite delicious. And if you have a food processor, these are much easier to make than potato gnocchi because you can make almost all of it in the food processor.
I don’t have any fresh basil right now but my kale is growing strong. So I made an easy kale walnut pesto. It came out quite well and I didn’t miss the basil at all.
You may want to double this recipe and freeze the rest of the gnocchi to cook later.
1 very small head cauliflower, stem and leaves removed
2 cups flour
1 large egg yolk
2 packed cups shredded kale, stems removed
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (start with 1/3 and add more if needed)
1-2 cloves garlic (start with 1 and add more if desired)
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Cut cauliflower into small florets. Steam cauliflower (please steam instead of boil because boiling will cause the cauliflower to have too much moisture) until very soft. Alternatively, you can also cook the cauliflower florets in the microwave (microwave at 1 minute intervals until soft).
Gently pat down cauliflower with paper towel to remove moisture. Place cauliflower into food processor. Pulse until cauliflower becomes completely mashed. If you do not have a food processor you can use a potato ricer.
Remove cauliflower mash from your food processor. Measure out 1 cup packed mashed cauliflower and place back into food processor. You can save any remaining cauliflower for another recipe.
Add in egg yolk and 1 cup flour directly into the food processor. Pulse in food processor until it becomes a ball of dough. Check to see how sticky the dough is. If it's too sticky to work with, incorporate a little more flour at a time and then mix again until dough is workable.
Sprinkle some flour on pastry board or large cutting board. Roll your dough into ropes 3/4 inch thick. Cut the ropes into 1 inch pieces.
If you wish to create the gnocchi grooves and indents, press thumb into one side of dough and use back of fork to create indents into the other side. Repeat with all gnocchi. (For mine, I only did the fork indent because I like the look of the grooves.) If you do not wish to cook all the gnocchi at once, set aside and freeze the ones you don't wish to cook.
Bring water in a medium pot to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook until they float to the surface. Remove gnocchi from water. Serve with pesto and parmesan cheese.
To make the pesto, add all pesto ingredients into a food processor. Pulse several minutes until it reaches a thick sauce consistency. Pesto will initially be very chunky but will break down further into a sauce-like consistency after a few minutes. Taste and adjust as needed. Depending on the type of kale you use and personal preference you may want to add more cheese, oil, lemon,etc.