October 15, 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Kalamata Olive “Pesto”

There was quite the dilemma at our table when I told the fellas their choices for the “Orange & Black Improv Cooking Challenge. They wished to try “all the above”, so we made two meals -- one over here, which was slightly Southwesty, & this one, was moderately Mediterranean. E.J. gnocchi (21)

We served the gnocchi with blackened salmon, for one more layer of orange & black…

    • 2 c. mashed sweet potato (bake sweet potatoes @ 400° for about an hour, let cool)
    • 1 c. ricotta cheese (let drain overnight until it’s about 6 oz.)
    • 1 t. kosher salt
    • 1 egg
    • 1 1/4 c. gluten-free flour, plus some for the work surface

I started out by draining the ricotta overnight so it would be nice & dry for the gnocchi. I also baked the sweet potatoes ahead of time.E.J. sweet potato gnocchi(This was my first time using Bob’s Red Mill® Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. It worked, but tasted slightly “rice-y”, I thought…) You can see I tried to make the ridges with a fork, but that wasn’t working for me. I’ve since picked up a gnocchi board at the kitchen store to use on the next batch…

E.J. kalamata pestoAfter the gnocchi was sitting around drying a little before cooking; I started the tedious process of hand-chopping the pesto ingredients. (Using the food processor would’ve made this too pasty, I think.)

    • 1/4 c. olive oil
    • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
    • 6 oz. Kalamata black olives, pitted and chopped
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1.5 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves (about 2 oz.) chopped

Time to brown the gnocchi in butterE.J. gnocchi (19)I may or may not have eaten half while waiting for everyone to show up from school/work.E.J. gnocchi (20)

The salmon was simple. It wasn’t truly blackened. E.J. gnocchi (18)I used a tablespoon each of dark brown sugar, espresso powder & Cajun seasoning. E.J. gnocchi (17)I stuck it in a 425° oven for 10-12 minutes. Came out perfect!

The fellas love the Kalamata condiment! This nacho plate happened more than once with the leftovers:E.J. gnocchi (6)Yes! That’s tortilla chips, salmon, pesto & a little Colby-Jack… to. die. for.

Here are the links to the other Orange & Black participants’ foods:


  1. I LOVE that you went savory with the orange and black theme. Time to make some gnocchi this weekend, I think. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. I seriously could not stop eating the gnocchi! (I was not sad when my youngest tried one & turned down the rest of his plate for textural reasons -- more for me!)

  2. The Salmon lovers in my family would love this. Heck I love anything made with blackening spice and even though I am not a huge fan of salmon, I would eat this. Great job.

    1. Thanks Cammie. Can't wait to see what was under wraps from Cammie's Kitchen.


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