Recipe: Caramelised Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Sour Creamed Spinach, Garden Herbs and Weeds
Kane Pollard x Unico Zelo
"In my opinion the Truffle Hound was screaming out for a fatty mouthfeel with some salty, sour and earthy goodness. Looking at the season, and what I would want to whip up if I had a bottle at home on a Sunday afternoon after a trip to the market and you're ready for the evening, it came down to this. Culture your own cream the day before, or buy some good quality stuff from the market if you’re short on time."
Makes – 6 serves
Cultured cream (if you’re keen to make it)
- 500g of good quality, local pure cream
- 50g of live culture yoghurt (like Paris Creek)
- Bring the cream up to 38 degrees, add the yoghurt and pour into a clean jar.
- Seal the jar and allow to sit in a warm spot (above a fireplace or on a home brew heat mat is ideal) for 8-12 hours
- Place in the fridge until set firm
- 1kg sweet potato peeled and rough 1 cm dice
- 1 egg (optional)
- 150g of good local flour (plus a little extra to flour the bench)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Set up a big pot of boiling water (around 8 litres) with 2 tablespoons of salt in it. Preferably in a pot that you can steam above, but if not, set up the big pot plus a steamer station on the side.
- Steam the sweet potato until just tender, making sure not to overcook or water log.
- Place the steamed sweet potato in a mixing bowl while still hot and roughly mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the egg if preferred (helps with a lighter texture) and mix until combined.
- Add the flour and salt, gently kneading together only until it forms a dough.
- Turn the mix out onto a floured bench, and roughly divide into 10 pieces.
- Using a floured surface, roll the portions out into thumb thickness sausages, then use a flour dipped knife to cut half thumb length pieces. Gently pinch into little pillow and place on a floured tray.
- In about 4 batches, drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and allow to cook until they float, then give them an extra 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, fish them out into iced water or onto an oiled tray and into the fridge. Keep the boiling water going for later, top it up if needed.
Bringing it all together
- 50g butter
- ½ bunch of large leaf spinach
- a range of edible garden herbs and weeds
- Pre-heat a pan to medium heat. In 4 batches add the butter allowing it to slowly brown before adding the gnocchi. Allow the gnocchi to develop a crisp, caramelised outer layer by giving it a roll around the pan. Set aside.
- Add woody herbs to the pan (rosemary, thyme) if using and allow to crisp up a little, then turn the heat off. Add the sour cream to the pan to ‘de-glaze’ the left over burnt butter and herbs.
- Cook the spinach in the boiling pot for 10 second until bright green, then plunge into the warmed sour cream mix. Season as required
- Put it all in your favourite bowl and garnish with fresh herbs and weeds. At the moment there’s sour sobs, onion weed and mallow shooting up which works quite well.
- Once blanched, chilled and oiled, the gnocchi freezes very well. Allow to de-frost and caramelise in a pan when required
- Add your favourite meat ragu to amp up the heartiness
- Use the same recipe with normal potatoes (royal blue work well), or make a pumpkin version using half pumpkin and half potato.