When my head chef said we should serve the Gnocchi I made with a Vinaigrette I was a little unsure. I also associate Gnocchi with a thick, creamy, and cheesy Sauce, or with lashings of Butter! But I made a basic Vinaigrette and used it like I would use a Wine in cooking, adding it to a hot pan to deglaze. It’s a really scrummy way to eat Gnocchi, especially in the warm months and it’s dairy free (almost!).
For the Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 Tsp Sugar
1 Small Sprig of Tarragon
50 ml Olive Oil
For the Dish
About 125 g Homemade Gnocchi
4 Stems Green Asparagus
Small Tomato, or 2 – 3 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Spring Onion
Salt and Sugar
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Cut about 1 cm off the ends of the Asparagus, and then chop it into slices, diagonally about 1/2 cm thick. Cut the Tomato into thin slices, or if using Cherry Tomatoes, cut them into half. Chop the root part of the Spring Onion away and the very top green part. Slice lengthways and then cut diagonally into thin slices.
For the Vinaigrette, add the Vinegar, Sugar, and Salt to a small bowl. Mix well with a whisk. Slowly add the Oil, and whisk briskly. Pluck the Tarragon leaves and roughly chop them, reserving a few to decorate. Add the Tarragon to the Vinaigrette.
Heat a frying pan on a high heat. Add a splash of Sunflower Oil, and then the Asparagus, and fry on a high heat until they are slightly roasted. Add the Tomatoes to the pan and sprinkle with a little Salt and Sugar, and toss altogether, allowing the Sugar to slightly caramelise. Tip everything into a bowl on the side.
Using the same frying pan, add a good knob of Butter, and a little Sunflower Oil (this will help prevent the Butter from burning), or just use Sunflower Oil, and then on a high heat fry the Gnocchi, until they are golden brown and crispy.
Add the Asparagus and Tomatoes to the Gnocchi, as well as the Spring Onions, and toss altogether. Turn the heat up, and pour the Vinaigrette over the Gnocchi, allow to bubble and deglaze slightly, and mix everything together. Check for seasoning and serve.