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Virtual Vegan Potluck 3.0: Crispy Carrot + Potato Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto

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Today is the third Virtual Vegan Potluck (May 11th, 2013), which marks one-year anniversary. This is my first time participating in the Virtual Vegan Potluck. There are about 160+ amazing bloggers participating in this event and I look forward to checking everyone’s recipes out including my virtual blogger pals next-door: V is for Vegetables and Move Eat Create

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As a special note, I would like to thank these lovely bloggers, Annie via An UnRefined Vegan , Lidia via Vegan Bloggers Unite, Jason via Jason and the Veganauts and Somer via Vedged Out into organizing this amazing virtual vegan potluck event. Merci beaucoup!

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For the Virtual Vegan Potluck’s lovely main dish, I am sharing my Crispy Carrot & Potato Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto, Sautéed Shiitake Mushrooms, Green Peas, Parsley, and Red Chili Flakes. This involves frying my homemade gnocchi slathered with fresh and raw walnut pesto with some dried chili pepper flakes. There are a few separate recipes before you read further: making the gnocchi, making the walnut pesto and frying them altogether.

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Please view this recipe to make your own carrot & potato gnocchi, and as noted, it may take about 2-2.5 hour to make and boil your gnocchi depending on your batch. In this recipe, my lovely partner Doni made one batch of potato gnocchi and one more batch of carrot gnocchi for a variety of colors. Each batch makes about 36 gnocchi depending on the sizes you make.

Note for anyone who does not want to make gnocchi: If you do not have the time to make gnocchi, there are few vegan-friendly store-bought gnocchi packages such as the Gia Russa Whole Wheat Gnocchi with Sweet Potato or De Cecco Gnocchi. I prefer the De Cecco Gnocchi brand. Be cautious with store-bought gnocchi since some may contain milk and/or egg ingredients. It is best to make your own gnocchi from scratch, and you will not regret this!

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You may have seen my everyday raw walnut pesto from my earlier posts: Raw Zucchini Spaghetti with Walnut Pesto (see post + recipe) and Vegan Mediterranean Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Walnut Pesto Seitan (see post + recipe). This is my favorite pesto to use in some dishes and sandwiches, plus pine nuts here in the U.S. are terribly expensive. For the raw walnut pesto, you need fresh basil, raw walnuts (I get mine at Trader’s Joe), garlic, lemon juice (squeezed), sea salt, nutritional yeast, cold-pressed olive oil (I used Village Press New Zealand Barnea Olive Oil) and fresh garlic.

You will only need 1/4 cup of the walnut pesto recipe to make your crispy gnocchi dish. Save the rest for your sandwich spreads, dips, or even other pasta dishes.

Raw Walnut Pesto

Yield: about ¾ cup

Ingredients

1½ cup fresh basil leaves, packed
½ cup raw walnuts
½ cup cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 medium garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste

Method

Chop the walnuts first in a food processor and pulse them a few times until they are broken into smaller pieces. Add the basil and garlic, pulse a few times more. Add the remaining ingredients and slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Pulse again until blended.

If you want a smoother and runnier one, add more olive oil. If you want thick pesto, add more raw walnuts or sunflower seeds. Add a pinch of salt to taste.

Notes

Keeping: Store them in the freezer for 3 months as long as you coat them with olive oil in the sealed container/jar. They taste really good after being frozen for 2 months. Just let them thaw out and cook it with something afterward. You can also store them in the fridge for several weeks if you plan to use them for a raw dish or snack them with veggies.

For the Crispy Carrot & Potato Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto, make sure your homemade gnocchi is boiled and ready to use. Here is the full recipe below:

Crispy Carrot Gnocchi with Walnut Pesto

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

24 pieces boiled gnocchi (about 2½ cups, view recipe)
¼ cup raw walnut pesto (see recipe in this post)
12 baby shiitake mushrooms (keep the stems on)
1½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons green peas
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes (add more if needed)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, sauté the boiled gnocchi until the outsides are golden brown and crispy for about 6-8 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute 3 to 4 minutes, turning until lightly browned.

Stir in the pesto with the gnocchi and fry for at least 2 to 3 minutes. Add peas and stir in for a few minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and dried chili flakes and serve.

Thank you, Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Be sure to check out the lovely host, Lidia via Vegan Bloggers Unite. Check out my virtual blogger pals next-door: V is for Vegetables and Move Eat Create

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To go to the beginning of the potluck, go to VeganBloggersUnite.


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