Erin is one of the sweetest, most generous, hard-working bloggers that I know. She writes books, builds websites, takes beautiful pictures of amazing food and is an all round lovely person. I start a lot of my emails to her with the phrase ‘I know I’m a complete idiot but…’ and she not only responds but shows endless patience with my inability to keep my site working for more than about 10 minute (I’m sure this kind of skill is going to come in very handy for her over the next few years…). By sheer coincidence, a copy of her second cookbook, The Easy Vegetarian Kitchen, arrived on Friday and it’s fair to say, I’m pretty obsessed with it. Erin makes cooking and eating vegetarian look so simple but so delicious so it seemed only fitting that the theme for her baby shower was super easy vegetarian meals!
In keeping with Erin’s commitment to seasonal cooking, I’ve whipped up a batch of wild garlic (aka ramp) and pistachio pesto for her. I’ve served this with some super quick ricotta gnocchi although it works equally as well with pasta or the store-bought stuff.
Huge congratulations to you, Erin! I’m so thrilled for you and Mike and can’t wait to meet your baby boy. He’s so lucky to get you guys as his parents.
Check out all of these other delicious contributions to Erin’s baby shower; some of them even feature recipes from Erin’s new book!
The Fauxmartha | A Pasta Dish for Busy Hands // A Couple Cooks | Breakfast Parfait with Roasted Strawberries // Edible Perspective | Avocado Pesto Chickpea Salad Sandwiches // Eat This Poem | Penne with Cherry Tomatoes and Arugula // Cookie and Kate | Brussels Sprouts Pizza // FoodieCrush | Beet, Avocado and Fried Goat Cheese Salad // The Bojon Gourmet | Tempeh BLTs with Avocado + Chipotle Mayonnaise // Girl Versus Dough | Spiced Lentils with Poached Eggs // Dolly and Oatmeal | Chickpea Bean Bowl with Toasted Bread Crumbs and Dill Tahini // Food Loves Writing | Erin’s Veggie Burgers // With Food + Love | Creamy Polenta with Crispy Beets // Flourishing Foodie | Glazed Tofu with Ramen // This Homemade Life | Chickpea Greek Salad // My Name is Yeh | Creamed Spinach // Brooklyn Supper | One-Pot Pasta Primavera
This may make a little more pesto than you need but I don't think that's any bad thing. Pesto never goes to waste in my house and it freezes well. If you don't have any wild garlic (otherwise known as ramps), you can use spinach in its place and chuck in a clove or two of garlic. Some people like to blanch wild garlic before using to remove some of the raw heat but I don't bother myself.
- 200g (8oz/1 cup) ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- 120g - 160g (1 - 1/2 cups) flour (I used rice flour which was okay but not brilliant. Honestly, I think you need a little bit of gluten here to make this recipe work. A much better choice would be Erin's lentil and sweet potato gnocchi - see the link below!)
- A pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg
- A bunch of wild garlic, leaves and stems only (~75g)
- 60g (1/2 cup) pistachios kernels
- 60g (1/2 cup) grana padano or parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the pesto, you pretty much just shove everything in a food processor and pulse a couple of times. I like to taste as I go, adding more parmesan/pistachios/olive oil as required. The amount of olive oil you need will depend on how thick/thin you like your pesto. I'm certainly not going to dictate that to you. You can also thin it out with a little lemon juice for a bit of brightness or cream for some richness. I'm not sure it's possible to mess up pesto.
- To make the gnocchi, mix all the ingredients into a dough with your hands but don’t overwork the mixture (no more than a couple of minutes of kneading). I try to add as little flour as possible - starting with a cup or so - until you get a dough that will hold together.
- Separate your dough into two balls and roll each into a sausage shape on a lightly floured worktop. Cut into gnocci-sized pieces and cook in a pan of boiling salted water. They should float to the top once they are cooked (a minute or two at most). Drain the gnocchi and stir through as much pesto as you want. Top with parmesan and serve with a little salad on the side.
For a great gluten free gnocchi recipe, try Erin's lentil and sweet potato gnocchi. It would be really good here.