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Chef de Bloke presents: Asparago con gnocchi, or something [blog post, by yours truly] - Liam's write-only LJ
June 2nd, 2016
12:34 am


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Chef de Bloke presents: Asparago con gnocchi, or something [blog post, by yours truly]
Today's recipe from Chef de Bloke*, your personal guide to Cordon Blur cookery.

It's asparagus season, so here's a great quick tasty dinner. You'll need:

  • some fresh asparagus

  • gnocchi

  • jar of pesto sauce

  • cheapo sachet of pitted olives, or failing that, a handful from the jar.

First, put the kettle on.

Now, chop your asparagus. Slap the bundle on the chopping board -- remember to remove the elastic bands -- and chop the whole bundle into about one-inch lengths. For those of you listening in black and white, that's about 2-3cm.

Now, steam it. Whack a some boiling water into a steamer pan, then put the asparagus in the layer with the holes in, or failing that, in a sieve. Put a lid on the pan.

Steam it for 5 minutes or so, until you can easily stick a fork into the pieces.

While you're doing this, boil your gnocchi. Strain the brine off the olives and toss it in the water you're boiling the gnocchi in -- gives 'em a bit more flavour.

Fish out the gnocchi, plonk 'em in a big bowl. Add the olives and pesto. Stir it about a bit. Add the asparagus. Stir it a bit more.

Plonk some in a bowl, grind a bit of black pepper on it, and eat.


Do not, in the interests of saving a pot and some washing up, attempt to steam the asparagus over the pan you're boiling the gnocchi in. It'll froth up like nobody's business, go all over the sieve, the lid, the cooker and bloody everywhere, and presto, you'll be cleaning the cooker again.

Don't ask me how I know, I just know, OK?

-- CdB

* This is, or at least was, an actual brand. A most amusing birthday gift from the estimable tamaranth demonstrated this, some 20 years ago.

P.S. here's how the pros do it, if you want to be all boring and fancy.

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(5 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2016 07:01 am (UTC)
Good recipe, thank you! I shall give it a go. And thanks for the tip about not steaming vegetables over the pasta or pasta equivalent. It is very tempting to do this but having spent an entire morning (or what felt like it) cleaning the cooker recently I do not want to do so again very soon.
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2016 11:15 am (UTC)
You're welcome!

My intent was at least half humorous. It's barely a recipe with essentially 3 ingredients and a jar of sauce... :-)
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2016 09:16 am (UTC)
Mmmm, asparagus.

Another top tip, handed on to me some years ago, which I find useful but which you might already know: if you want to avoid the parts of asparagus spears which have gone woody, bend each one till it snaps. Then use the part with the tip on and do whatever you do with vegetable waste (stock, soup, compost etc.) with the other bit. If you don't care, just chop up the whole spear as directed!
[User Picture]
Date:June 2nd, 2016 11:17 am (UTC)
I generally eat the woody bits. Even when I'm occasionally left with a mouthful of twiggy straw from a few bits, I just swallow it. I figure, hey, fibre, right?

But yes, that works! :-)
Date:June 2nd, 2016 07:06 pm (UTC)
Myself, I come from the Cordon Bennett school of cookery. Or at least I think that's what people are saying during their coughing fit after trying some of it.

That dish almost sounds Dutch, what with asparagus growing like weeds at the moment. Indeed, all manner of fruit and veg is quite cheap, with the bizarre exception of cauliflowers which are usually well over two euros each. I am particularly liking the carrots that taste of carrot, unlike those from back in the UK.

You presumably know that (authentic) pesto is not vegetarian? It does seem to be a product that would be trivial to make without using rennet, but I've yet to encounter veggie pesto that wasn't minging. Perhaps homemade is the way forwards.
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