Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Supper Wars: Gnocchi & Roasted Cauliflower

Real Simple magazine had a feature this month with four weeks of easy meals. There are some things on the menu which don't appeal to me, and many which will spark a dinner table battle with the kids, but there are a few I really think we should try. This is one of those.

"What's a g-notchee?" was the question from a younger child. They wouldn't remember the last disasterous attempt at serving the puffy little potato pasta. B2 was a toddler, and DD wasn't even born. B1 was VERY PICKY about textures, and the experience was so bad that gnocchi hasn't crossed my mind, outside of restaurants, in almost a decade.

The kids were less than thrilled about the stack of ingredients on the counter. I did have two children sneaking raw cauliflower off the cutting board. (I had to pretend to be cross about the swiping, but... Yea! They were eating it like chips, and enjoying the crunch.)

My quantities were a little different than the original, since I was making this for more than four.

Gnocchi with Roasted Cauliflower
2/3 head of cauliflower, trimmed to florets
(I used the orange cauliflower, it turns a lovely color in oven)
12-16 sage leaves
3 Tbs Olive Oil
Sea salt
Cracked pepper
24 oz Gnocchi
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Toss cauliflower with oil, salt, pepper and sage leaves. Roast on baking sheet for 25-30 minutes at 400F.

While roasting veggies, start water heating for gnocchi. Cook according to package directions, then drain and toss with butter. (Original recipe I read didn't call for it, but I like it sooooo much more with butter.)

Place gnocchi on plates. Top with roasted cauliflower. Sprinkle with cheese.

It was so very good. Not only from a taste standpoint - the textures of the slightly crunchy cauliflower and soft, puffy gnocchi were fun. The kids gave mixed reviews, of course:
  1. B1 thought it tolerable, but liked the gnocchi, and asked if we can do more with that.
  2. B2 felt this was the best supper ever, had seconds, and let me know I could fix the same meal for him the next night, seeing as how there was a little bit of cauliflower left in the veggie bin.
  3. DD announced she only likes food with "colorful flavors" and that this meal was not colorful enough for her. (Obviously, this is the child targeted in the decision to avoid plain white cauliflower. She ate it, but only because there were chocolate-dipped biscuits at stake.
From a convenience standpoint, this was great recipe for a night where afterschool activities and carpooling led to a later supper than usual. Start to finish, less than 45 minutes. Easy meal for kids to help prepare, and not a lot of mess to clean up after. With the side of steamed green beans, tossed with butter, the cost per person was about $1.45, making it far less expensive, and more nutritious than any fast food option... or any of the "healthy" prepared meals at the grocery stores. (Plus, I didn't have to sit in traffic for 30 minutes plus to get it.)


Slamdunk said...

Wow $1.45 per person and 2 out of 3 approved the healthy meal? Score one for you then.

mappchik said...

2 out of 3 seems to be pretty normal, now that I've stopped trying out dishes with certain ingredients -like the dreaded rutabaga, which everyone hated. Unfortunately, whichever one to be the 1 of 3 about a new dish usually feels VERY strongly about his/her dislike.

Oh well. Here's hoping they'll grow up to be adventurous with food? Or at least not daily consumers of fast food.