If ever you were looking for a low-carb or gluten free alternative to anything that contains gluten and carbs, buy a cauliflower. It’s the most versatile vegetable that is most often eaten as anything but cauliflower. Turn it into a pizza, couscous or rice, a “steak” or a creamy pasta sauce.
You can also turn it into cauliflower gnocchi. I’ve been told it’s my best application of cauliflower and to be honest, the fact that it worked surprised even me. It requires just two ingredients, Cauliflower and Rice Flour (or four if you want to count salt and pepper).
I wanted to create a gnocchi that was as allergen free as possible, so almond flour which is often used was eliminated. I wanted a gluten free flour that didn’t have a strong taste (so no chickpea or coconut flour) and that wasn’t overly expensive. Rice flour works similar to regular flour and doesn’t have a strong flavour. Here it works perfectly to create fluffy gnocchi. It is an involved and finicky recipe, but if you’ve made gnocchi from scratch it’s no harder than that. And if you haven’t, it’s easy to master.
The actual cauliflower gnocchi is vegan and gluten free. I chose to pair it with browned butter, sage and mushrooms. If you want to keep it vegan, you can pan fry the gnocchi in olive oil and add in some mushrooms or coat it in a pesto sauce. I would suggest pan frying it, as gnocchi is best when it’s crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
It does have a cauliflower taste, but other than that it tastes and feels pretty similar to regular gnocchi.
2 Ingredient Gluten Free Cauliflower Gnocchi with Browned Butter, Sage and Mushrooms
- 1 head of Cauliflower washed and cut into florets
- 1/2 C Rice flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
Browned Butter, Mushroom and Sage
- 1 punnet mushrooms washed and sliced
- 3 tbsp butter
- handful fresh sage leaves
- Salt to taste
- Add the cut-up cauliflower to a food processer and pulse until it becomes a rice like consistency.
- Remove and add to a small pot. Fill the pot with boiling water – enough to cover the cauliflower.
- Bring to a boil and then boil for 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and drain the cauliflower using a fine mesh sieve (you want something fine enough so that you don’t lose the riced cauliflower only the water). Let it cool completely.
- Once cool, place the cauliflower into the centre of a clean kitchen towel. Bundle it up and squeeze all the liquid out. Do this over a sink as it can get messy. This is similar to how you would squeeze a nut bag when making nut milk. You want as much of the liquid out of the riced cauliflower as possible.
- Once all the liquid has been squeezed out, add the cauliflower back into the food processor.
- Add rice flour, salt and pepper to the food processor. Depending on the size of your cauliflower you my need more or less rice flour. You can start with half the flour and add as you need.
- Blend the cauliflower and rice flour until it becomes a sticky dough like texture. Add more rice flour if it’s too sticky. You want to be able to mould it into a ball.
- Roll the mixture into a ball and cut into 4 pieces.
- Roll each piece into a log. About 24cm long and 1.5 cm thick.
- Cut each log into 2cm pieces.
- Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling drop gnocchi into it. They need enough space to cook and float, I did this in two batches. You can do it in 2-3 batches depending on how big your pot is.
- The gnocchi are ready when they float to the top. When they do, remove them and put into a pasta colander to allow them to drain and dry out a bit.
- Continue until all the gnocchi are cooked.
- At this point the gnocchi are ready and you can serve them with any sauce you want. I would suggest pan frying them either in olive oil or butter to get them nice and crisp on the outside.
- To make the browned butter sage and mushroom sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a frying pan and melt. Add in you sliced mushrooms and cook over a medium heat, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook until the liquid has dissolved, and they become crisp and golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan, onto a clean plate.
- In the same frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of butter. Melt over a medium flame until it starts bubbling and browning. Add in your sage leaves and gnocchi. If your pan is small you may need to do this in batches. You want enough room to allow you to easily turn over the gnocchi. Cook the gnocchi for about 1-2 minutes per side, or until they get browned and crisp. If you need to do this in batches, remove the gnocchi once cooked and place onto a plate.
- Once they are all cooked, add them back into the pan along with mushrooms. Toss and cook till warmed up and then divide between two plates. Garnish with crispy fried sage leaves.