Happy mini- Friday fellow foodies!
Today’s recipe is one of my absolute favourites, one of those that you come back to again, and again, and again…
As the season for comfort foods is officially open, this recipe for mushroom gnocchi with thyme and white wine will fit perfectly into the early autumn theme.
I grew up in the house where wild mushroom foraging was one of the most anticipated activities of the season. However, I was never the one to go out into the woods and actually pick the mushrooms (I’m still asking myself why on earth did I never wanted to participate!). That was a task taken on by my dad and my brothers. After a whole day out in the forests, they will come back home with huge, wicker baskets, overflowing with all sorts of beautiful, and ohhh so wonderfully smelling mushrooms.
And it was me and mum, who would then spent hours cleaning, and preparing these beauties. Some of them would be used straight away for a mushroom soup, exploding with that earthy, umami flavour, the rest, would be hung on a pieces of string to air dry in the kitchen, spreading the most amazing fragrant in the whole house.
They would be used in the upcoming autumn and winter months as an addition to sauces, soups and dozens of other dishes. The main purpose was, and still is, to use them during Christmas season, as wild mushrooms (often mixed with cabbage) are one of the staple ingredients on tables all across Eastern Europe.
Mushrooms are naturally a great source of vitamins and minerals, they are also very low in calories. Also, they are a great meat substitute, no wonder they are favourite among vegetarian and vegan diets. If you are looking for some guidance to wild mushroom picking, have a look at Wild Food UK website, which is the most detailed I’ve found. You can even book yourself for a private foraging course!
Today’s recipe for mushroom gnocchi doesn’t really call for a use of wild mushrooms. As I’ve been struggling to get my hands on fresh, wild mushrooms at the very time of writing this post, I’ve used the mixture of shop bought varieties (button, chestnut and shiitake). However, if you have an access to wild mushrooms, trust me, the flavour will be soooo much deeper, tastier and just simply much better. You can also use dried wild mushrooms (just ensure to soak them prior to frying), or use a mixture of both.
As for the gnocchi, you can make your own, or use the shop bought version. Because I’m currently going through a phase of ‘everything made from scratch’, I’ve made my own. Making gnocchi always gives me a great joy (probably to much!), and again, brings back really awesome and fond memories of my childhood. Me, mum and my grandma used to produce them in our small kitchen on what could be called almost an industrial scale… but that’s a story for another post perhaps.
Most of the shop bought gnocchi’s are vegan and dairy free. However, if you wish to make your own, I’ve included the quick recipe in the notes section. Traditional gnocchi recipe calls for a use of egg, so if you are non- vegan, I would recommend to add it with mix of flour and mashed potatoes. You may need to adjust the amount of flour, but remember that when it comes to gnocchi, less flour will result in fluffier, lighter texture. Also, for all the cheese lovers out there, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top of mushroom gnocchi will be like a cherry on a cake. It is almost as that nutty flavour of cheese was made to compliment the savoury taste of mushrooms.
Have you got any experience with wild mushroom picking? Let me know in the comments section. I would love to know!
Thanks for reading, and see you next time!
Mushroom Gnocchi with Thyme
- 500 g potato gnocchi (shop bought or homemade*)
- 300 g mushrooms of your choice (shiitake, porcini, portobello, button, chestnut, chanterelles)
- 50 g butter or vegan spread
- 1 medium onion
- 2 small garlic cloves (minced)
- 60 ml dry white wine
- 3 tsp fresh thyme (minced)
- 1 tbsp tamari sauce (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- In a large pan, melt 25g of butter. Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, add tamari sauce and leave over the medium heat until mushrooms are golden brown. Add sliced onion and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in the white wine, add thyme. Lower the heat and allow to cook for further 2-3 minutes.
- Bring a large pan of salted water to boil and cook gnocchi. Once cooked, drain the gnocchi and add them to the pan with mushrooms. Mix in the remaining butter, and fry all together until gnocchi are golden brown.
- Use 300g of well mashed potatoes and about 150g of all purpose flour. Mix flour with potatoes gradually, adding small amounts of flour and working it into potatoes very well. Add a generous pinch of salt and continue kneading until you have used up the flour and the dough is no longer very sticky.