Recipe: Lemon Cauliflower Gnocchi, Arugula Walnut Pesto, Garlic-Blistered Tomatoes

Click to play video: 'Cooking Together: Cauliflower gnocchi with arugula walnut pesto'
Cooking Together: Cauliflower gnocchi with arugula walnut pesto
Chef David Robertson of The Dirty Apron shares this vegan recipe that takes pesto gnocchi to the next level – Mar 26, 2023

Chef David Robertson of The Dirty Apron shares this vegan recipe that takes pesto gnocchi to the next level.

Cauliflower Gnocchi

Ingredients (serves two): 

Uncooked cauliflower florets 1 lb

Olive oil 15 ml

Tippo flour 60 g

Lemon zest 1 pc

Salt to taste


Steam cauliflower florets until fork-tender, approximately 12 minutes, then let cool.

Place steamed cauliflower florets into a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Place squeezed cauliflower, olive oil and sea salt into blender, and blend on high speed until smooth. You might need to scrape down the sides in between pulses, in order to ensure that all elements combine.

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In a mixing bowl and using your hands, combine cauliflower puree, flour, lemon zest and olive oil/salt to taste until evenly combined into a dough-like ball. Dredge the dough with flour, then roll it out by hand into a rope 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut the rope into one-inch pieces.

Drop the gnocchi pieces into boiling water and cook until they float to the surface (about one minute). Use a slotted spoon to transfer the gnocchi onto a lightly oiled tray to keep them from sticking to each other. Allow the gnocchi to cool.

Arugula Walnut Pesto

Ingredients (serves two): 

Arugula 50 g

Walnuts – toasted 30 ml

Garlic 1 clove

Olive oil 120 ml

Lemon juice to taste


Blend arugula, walnuts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor until almost smooth. Gradually add olive oil and process until well blended. Season with salt and pepper.

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Garlic-Blistered Tomatoes & Cauliflower:

Ingredients (serves two):

Cauliflower florets 100 g

Cherry tomato 16 pcs

Garlic – slivered 2 pcs

Walnuts – toasted and chopped 30 ml

Nutritional yeast as garnish 20 ml


Pick cauliflower florets into pea-size pieces and set them aside. Sliver garlic and set aside separately, along with cherry tomatoes.

Start sauté pan on high heat. Once hot, add grapeseed oil. Once the oil starts to smoke, add the cauliflower pieces, and turn heat to medium-low.

Once cauliflower starts to brown on all sides, add the garlic and tomatoes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, allowing tomato skin to also brown.

Add pesto into the pan, followed by gnocchi. Add toasted walnuts and stir until well combined, then plate.

Finish plated dish with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

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