Friday, April 22, 2011

Creamed Nettles and Gnocchi

Last month some awesome friends and I had a good old-fashioned staycation and we had one of the best dinners of my entire life at an amazing restaurant called "Hitchcock" on Bainbridge Island.  Very unpretentious (the chef came to our table and talked to us for a good 10 minutes) and really well priced, this restaurant is a complete deal for both atmosphere and food.  If you are in the Seattle area you have to take a ferry ride to Bainbridge and eat here for yourself.

One of the dishes we had were creamed nettles with gnocchi.  When I was at the Farmer's Market two weeks ago I saw nettles for sale and I bought them immediately.  It sounds like a weird green to eat but it was absolutely delicious and perfect for a spring dinner.  These greens will sting you until they cook so watch out.  I played around to mimic the recipe from Hitchcock and here is my best shot.  Enjoy!

Serves 4


1/2 onion finely diced
4-6 cups of fresh nettles (they sting badly so use tongs!) - you could use spinach if you prefer
1 cup heavy whipping cream at room temperature (this prevents curdling)
1/2 cup parmesan or gruyere cheese grated

1 package gnocchi or torture yourself and make your own:

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees (dish looks gorgeous when baked for 10 minutes)
2) Saute onions in a tablespoon of butter about 5 minutes
3) Add greens to pan and cover to let steam
3) After three or four minutes, use tongs to turn the greens and coat with onion and butter
4) Continue to turn greens every minute and ensure they are cooking down and really wilting
5) Mean while boil water and cook gnocchi to package specifications, when those are done drain them and immediately transfer to dish for baking
6) After 10 or so minutes of "steaming" the greens remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes
7) Add the cream and cheese and stir to coat, place back on medium low heat for another few minutes while the cream does its magic.  Add some nice salt to taste.
8) Transfer creamed nettles and pour over gnocchi in the baking dish
9) Sprinkle some more parm on top and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes for a nice golden crust.
10) Serve with some fresh ground pepper and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this post, still thinking about that dinner!