Monday 1 February 2021


This is my third stab at homemade gnocchi and I got to say my favourite so far! 

Don't get me wrong I ADORED the sweet potato gnocchi I rustled up during the early spring days of the first lockdown, served with the most amazing sage butter sauce, and I also loved the pumpkin gnocchi with whipped ricotta that made yet another Friday during a very dull autumn at least a culinary delight, BUT this cauliflower version wins with its wonderful lightness, ease of making and sheer simplicity of the ingredients used to make them.

Indeed all you need to make these gnocchi is blended, blanched or steamed cauliflower (or to make your life even easier do like I did and buy ready made cauliflower "rice" which you simply have to steam in the microwave for 5 mins), flour, water and a bit of elbow grease, making these a lot lighter on the carbs and stomach than your conventional potato but even sweet potato gnocchi variety while maintaining the same pillowy texture.

Even better, these gnocchi get served on the most silky bed of whipped goats cheese with a hint of lemon, and are tossed with crispy slices of courgettes, cooked alongside chilli - no need for a heavy cream sauce when a plate is so full of zing and flavours. 

The real game changer here however is the basil, garlic and parmesan panko breadcrumb topping which elevates this dish into something quite special and worthy of a restaurant menu and I will be reusing for many more recipes to come. 

Overall the final dish looks impressive, tastes even more impressive and the best bit, is also super easy and fun to make! 

The new gnocchi winner for me amongst the vegetables and one I cannot recommend making enough.

Serves 2-3



  • 4-5 cups cauliflower florets
  • 3/4-1 cup of flour (add more as you need it)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs (I found them at Waitrose)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 courgettes, thinly sliced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon juice
  • 1 pinch chilli flakes
  • 250g goats cheese
  • Fresh basil and dill for serving


  • If not using cauliflower rice bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, 10 minutes.
  • Drain well. 
  • Lay the cauliflower on a kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess liquid.
  • Add the cauliflower to a food processor, pulse until smooth (or simply mash well with a fork). 
  • Add the cups of flour, parmesan, and salt to mashed cauliflower or steamed cauliflower "rice" 
  • Knead the mixture until just combined. 
  • If the dough seems wet, add a tablespoon of flour at a time, until it can be formed into a ball.
  • The dough should be a little sticky.
  • Generously flour a clean counter and scrape the dough out onto it. 
  • Cut the dough into four equal sections. 
  • Working with one section of dough at a time, roll the dough into a rope about 1 inch thick and cut into bite-size pieces. 
  • Repeat this process with the other sections of dough. 
  • Place the gnocchi on a baking tray that has been dusted with flour. 
  • At this point, the gnocchi can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 1 day and then boiled just before you are ready to eat or boiled right away.

  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the garlic, the breadcrumbs, and basil. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the breadcrumbs are toasted all over, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add the cheese and cook another 2 minutes, until fried. 
  • Remove the breadcrumbs from the pan. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Set the breadcrumbs aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Boil the gnocchi until they float to the top and are cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Drain.
  • Place the frying pan back over medium heat. 
  • Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the shallots. 
  • Cook until the shallots begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add the sliced courgettes and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the zucchini has caramelized and is golden brown, 5-8 minutes. 
  • Add the butter, the thyme, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. 
  • Cook until the butter begins to brown, 3-4 minutes.
  • Drop the gnocchi into the sauce, gently tossing to combine. Remove from the heat.
  • To make the goat cheese, combine the goat cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and the lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. 
  • Lastly spread the goat cheese into the bottom of each individual serving bowl. 
  • Spoon the gnocchi and sauce over the cheese. 
  • Top with breadcrumbs and herbs and enjoy!

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