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Gnocchi with Roasted Oyster Mushrooms, Ramp Pesto, and Harissa

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Ingredients

Gnocchi

1 package gnocchi*

1 cup olive oil, divided

1 pint oyster mushrooms, roasted

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated 2 tablespoons basil, sliced thinly

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Ramp pesto
(recipe follows)

Harissa (Recipe follows)

Herbs for garnish

*Chef Dissen makes his gnocchi from scratch and smokes it with a smoke gun for this recipe. For home cooks, we have simplified by using store-bought gnocchi and eliminating the smoking step.

Harissa

8 ounces mixed dried chilies

2 quarts boiling water

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

2 tablespoons coriander seeds

½ cup garlic cloves

½ cup cilantro, chopped

¼ cup mint, chopped

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

2 tablespoons kosher salt

½ cup smoked paprika

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Additional water, as needed

Ramp Pesto

12 ramp leaves (save bulbs for pickled ramp recipe)

½ cup pecans, toasted

½ cup basil leaves

½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1½ cups extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Gnocchi

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Working in 2 batches, add gnocchi to salt water and cook until gnocchi rises to surface. Allow gnocchi to float for 20 seconds, remove immediately with a slotted spoon, and transfer to a sheet pan lined with paper towels to cool and drain.
  3. Coat gnocchi with ½ cup olive oil.
  4. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining ½ cup olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, place the gnocchi in the pan (making sure not to overcrowd). Cook until golden.
  5. Turn heat to medium and pour olive oil from the pan. Add roasted oyster mushrooms and cook for another minute.
  6. Add butter to pan and allow to foam, tossing the gnocchi and mushrooms to fully coat. Add Parmesan and basil, tossing to incorporate. Season with salt and black pepper and remove from heat.
  7. To serve, place a “schmear” of ramp pesto on a plate and spoon the gnocchi and mushrooms in the center. Decorate the plate with dollops of harissa and scatter with herbs to garnish.

Harissa

  1. Place dried chilies in a large bowl or container and cover with boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour to rehydrate.
  2. In a sauté pan, toast cumin and coriander seeds. Set aside.
  3. Drain peppers and remove stems and seeds (leaving a few seeds is fine). Place peppers in a food processor and process until chunky.
  4. Add cumin and coriander to processor with remaining ingredients. Process to a smooth paste. Use additional water, if necessary, to create a smooth consistency.
  5. Run paste through a fine-mesh sieve to create a smoother texture.For storage, cover surface of Harissa with extra virgin olive oil and refrigerate until needed.

Ramp Pesto

  1. Combine ramp leaves, pecans, basil, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse to combine.
  2. While processor is running, add extra virgin olive oil slowly to reach a coarse consistency.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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