Shared Plates: November 2017 Winner

Recipe: Sweet Pea Gnocchi with Tarragon Pea Cream, Salmon, and Quick Microgreen Salad

Shared Plates: November 2017 Contest Winner

Submitted By: 


“As a celiac and food lover, I never have the pleasure of [enjoying] fresh pasta when dining out. I refuse to accept defeat, so I’ve harnessed my DIY gusto and began testing recipes I can make, even without a pasta press. Years ago, my first attempt at homemade pasta was pumpkin gnocchi – the conquest doubled as a way to impress a man. That relationship didn’t pan out, but I did fall in love with the process of pasta.

Pasta from scratch seems intimidating, but it’s well worth the effort. I encourage you to grab a friend or loved one, a glass of wine, and music that makes you dance, for an adventure in the kitchen. My dear friend Alex was up for the challenge of homemade restaurant-quality food. He works as a cinematographer and photographer, and I as a stylist, so we couldn’t resist turning my dining room into a photo studio to document our hard work.” – Madalyn Knebel @madalyn_k, Photograph by Alex Hoxie @hoxidation

Sweet Pea Gnocchi with Tarragon Pea Cream, Salmon, and Quick Microgreen Salad

Serves 2


For the pea purée
1 pound frozen peas, organic if possible
4 scallions
1 teaspoon salt
Zest from 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

For the gnocchi
2 pounds russet potatoes
2 cups multi-purpose flour, I prefer King Arthur Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
2 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
2 cups pea purée
2 large organic eggs
2 teaspoons salt
Pepper, to taste

For the sauce
3 cups organic heavy cream
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large sprig of tarragon, plus 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon, divided
¾ teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
Remaining pea purée – about 1 cup
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

For the garnish
Blanched fresh peas
Fresh pea tendrils
Lemon zest
Minced chives and tarragon

For the salmon
1 pound wild salmon filet
1 bunch parsley and a pinch of dill, or herbs of your choice, chopped
Grapeseed oil, or oil of your choice – grapeseed is great because it tolerates high heat and has a neutral taste
Juice of ½ a lemon
For the microgreen salad
1 package microgreens, rinsed
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste


For the pea purée
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring it up to a boil. Add a liberal amount of salt (it should taste like the ocean). While the water is heating up, get a bowl of ice water ready. When the water comes to a rolling boil, drop in the peas and the scallions and cook for 30 seconds. Immediately remove them to the ice bath. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking water.

When the peas and scallions have cooled completely, drain and add them to a blender along with the salt, lemon zest, and half of the reserved cooking water. Blend on high until it’s completely smooth, adding a tiny bit more water if needed to help it blend. Run the puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove any remaining bits of skin. Set aside.

For the gnocchi
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil the outside of the potatoes and poke a few holes in the skins. Bake for about an hour, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

While the potatoes are still hot, remove the flesh and process through a food mill or potato ricer. Place the riced potatoes into a bowl and form a well in the center. Add the pea puree and crack both eggs in the well along with the salt and pepper.

Use a fork to gently whisk it all together and start bringing in the potato. Sprinkle the flour all around, and very delicately begin mixing. When the dough starts to come together, dump it out on to a board and use a gentle folding technique to knead it a few times.

Be very careful not to overmix. If the dough is very wet, you can add more flour in 1 tablespoon increments to get it to come together. The finished dough should be fairly tacky. Once the dough is just formed, set it aside.

Prepare two sheet pans with a piece of parchment paper, dusted with flour. Dust a large board or counter top with flour. Cut off a small piece of dough and roll into a thin log. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut out the gnocchi in 1-inch pieces.

Place the gnocchi on the prepared sheet pans, being careful not to let them touch. Let the gnocchi rest for about 20-40 minutes before cooking.

For the sauce
Heat the heavy cream, garlic, and tarragon sprig in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the cream reduces by half, about 10 minutes. It should nicely coat the back of a spoon. Remove the garlic and the tarragon. Season with salt and pepper.

For the salmon
Preheat the oven at 425 degrees. Allow cleaned salmon to come to room temperature. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the salmon on the parchment and brush with oil on both sides. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish and sprinkle with your herbs and salt and pepper.

Cook salmon on the middle rack for 8 minutes, per inch of thickness. The salmon is done when it flakes apart when prodded with a knife.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and liberally season with salt. Working in batches of two or more, drop in the gnocchi into the boiling water. The gnocchi will typically float once cooked. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes at a time, if needed.

While the gnocchi are cooking, add the remaining pea purée, lemon juce and chopped tarragon to the sauce, stir and keep it over low heat. If it cooks too long or high, the sauce will turn from green to brown, but will still taste fine. Drain the gnocchi.

Add drained gnocchi to the sauce and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon the gnocchi on to a plate and garnish with a few blanched peas, pea tendrils, lemon zest, chives, and chopped tarragon. Plate the salmon and microgreens. Drizzle oil and vinegar atop microgreens and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.