Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Potato Gnocchi with Braised Swiss Chard and Pomegranate Brown Butter - Recipe #47 - Stirring the Pot

This recipe has a lot going on. In fact, you could almost say that this recipe is evil! Making the gnocchi was the easy part. The hardest part was making the pomegranate reduction, braising the swiss chard, making the brown butter, and sauteing the gnocchi in brown butter ALL AT THE SAME TIME! It's been forever since I've actively had every burner on my stovetop going all at once. And, every burner needed my attention. In addition to all these pots and pans, I was trying to open up a pomegranate and those little pesky seeds were flying all over my kitchen. I hardly ever cry, but I wanted to!! The dishes were piled up over the sink, there was flour and potato on the counter and on the floor, and there were little red-rubied pomegranate seeds everywhere. My kitchen looked like a war zone.

I quickly snapped some pictures and sat down to eat. I was still reeling with anger as I looked around my kitchen and surveyed the giant mess.

Do you think Tyler Florence does the dishes?

Potato Gnocchi with Braised Swiss Chard and Pomegranate Brown Butter-adapted from Stirring the Pot by Tyler Florence
2 pounds russet potatoes
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
12 ounces fresh ricotta, drained
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick unsalted butter
Pomegranate Brown Butter Sauce
2 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups pomegranate juice, rendered
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Braised Swiss Chard
extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 small onions, diced
2 bunches swiss chard, roughly chopped
2 quarts vegetable broth
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
For garnish:
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings

For the gnocchi, preheat oven to 350F. Arrange potatoes on a roasting tray and prick all over with a fork to make holes. Roast potatoes for 45 to 50 minutes, until the flesh is tender enough to scoop out with a spoon. When cool enough to handle, scoop the warm flesh into a food processor and puree with the grated Parmigiano-Regianno. Refrigerate until completely cool.

In a large bowl fold together the potato puree, drained ricotta, and nutmeg. Fold in the flour, 1 cup at a time. Season with salt and pepper and mix until a soft dough forms. (Do not overwork dough or it will be tough). Flour a surface and roll dough into a rope 1 inch in diameter. Cut into small pillow shapes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook until they float. Drain well and transfer gnocchi to a sheet tray. Refrigerate until cool. When gnocchi are cool, melt the 1 stick butter in a large nonstick saute pan over high heat. Add gnocchi and saute until brown, set aside.

For the pomegranate brown butter sauce, brown the 2 sticks butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until it turns a hazelnut color (the butter solids should be brown and aromatic). Meanwhile, in a large saucepan reduce pomegranate juice over medium-high heat until syrupy. Add pomegranate reduction to brown butter. Swirl pan to combine ingredients; season lightly with salt and pepper.

For the braised swiss chard, in a small stockpot heat a 2-count of olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add swiss chard and toss a few times. Add vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper; simmer for 5-6 minutes, until Swiss chard is wilted and tender. Stir in vinegar and the 2 tablespoons butter. Toss well to combine.

Serve braised swiss chard with gnocchi and top with pomegranate brown butter sauce. If you like, garnish with pomegranate seeds and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.

Notes/Results: Absolutely delicious!! Amazing combination of textures and flavors. A must make, especially if you are a vegetarian or happen to be hungry for a wonderful meat-free meal. The little gnocchi are so fluffy, the swiss chard is almost meaty and has a wonderful bite, the brown butter sauce is nutty and sweet, the shaved Parmigiano adds a salty bite, and those little pomegranate seeds are like big bursts of tart flavor. This is one lip-smacking dish!

I think you could do several things to make this recipe easier. First and foremost, just buy the gnocchi. Believe me, there is so much flavor going on in this dish that you won't miss the homemade gnocchi. I've made this recipe twice now and I bought a great whole wheat gnocchi for the second time around. Secondly, deal with your pomegranate ahead of time. And, maybe you can make either the swiss chard or the pomegranate brown butter sauce ahead of time. This is definitely a dish worth making and is beautiful with all the pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top! If you don't want to try the whole dish, at least try the preparation for the swiss chard and top it with the pomegranate brown butter sauce and pomegranate seeds. I'm thinking of serving the swiss chard as a side dish for Christmas because it is so pretty and reminds me of the holidays with those red rubied pomegranate seeds.


  1. Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! Good thing the results were delicious, right? I love gnocchi with browned butter, and the addition of pomegranate is very intriguing. I bet it was amazing. And no, I don't think Tyler Florence does the dishes. One of the perks of being famous!

  2. A lot of work... But what a beauty!
    I'll dream of this tonight!

  3. It does look delicious, but I hate those recipes where you dirty every pot and pan in the house. I remember one DB challenge where I swore, "Never again." Of course, I didn't keep to that vow and neither will you.

  4. LOL i love that picture of your dishes in the sink. How come nobody ever shows that. One little dish made, and so many to wash. Still, its very beautiful!

  5. Popped in to say hi! Isn't it amazing how messy great dishes can be?

  6. Wow, any recipe where making the gnocchi is the easy part must be complicated! I wonder if you use pomegranate molasses instead of reducing the juice it might save time and trouble.
    Looks totally delicious. I would volunteer to come over and help you with the dishes.. but I would probably end up stealing that cool orange pot. ;-)

  7. What a delicious dish! I got a case of pomegranate juice last week. I should try your recipe. Thanks.

  8. I'm sure he has a crew to do all his dishes, maybe he will let you borrow them for a week :)

  9. i'm so glad that even with all the choas of making it, it still turned out good. a lot of time it's the recipes that i bust my butt over that end up crappy! i liked your tips to make it easier, i always end up burning something when there's too much going on, lol. it looks just SCRUMPTIOUS!

  10. Sometimes - the recipes are worth it. I am thinking this looks definitely worth it. I will try as a side dish with the Swiss Chard. I am thinking of featuring it in an examiner article. Could I use your swiss chard recipe and give credit and link back to you?

  11. I'm sure it was delicious, but that is too many dishes for me!

  12. Wow - that is lots of work. I was laughing when I saw your sink, that's so cool you took a picture of that!

  13. Oh dear--the result is gorgeous but way too much work for me.
    Re: the dishes, I am sure Tyler has people for that! ;-)

  14. ::sigh:: If making the gnocchi is the EASY part...that is one intense recipe! It looks amazing and like it paid off though. Considering the fact that the last time I made gnocchi, it took me an entire day...I would just buy it.

  15. OMG all those dishes! I have not made gnocchi is some time. And your recipe is similar to the one I use. It sounds delicious... After reading though the recipe I agree that store bought gnocchi would be the way to go here. I will let you know if I try it!

  16. I know that dish was a lot of work but, boy does that look fabulous! I have been in that crazy mode in the kitchen where I am just getting frustrated and I lack patience...That's when I stop and ask myself, do I plan on making the dish again. the answer is often no.
    I smiled when I saw the dishes in the sink-I am positive that is a sign of a good cook :-)

  17. COMMANDO! Tyler does dishes COMMANDO!

    Looks delicious..

  18. I am so impressed with all of your work! I have never made gnocchi, so you get the tiara for this one. I love making reduction sauces, and have been wanting to try pomegranate in mine.
    Too funny, all the dishes! It sucks when you have to do all of those. I seriously doubt any food network chef has to do this. It isn't fair!
    Fabulous meal!

  19. Looks like this dish was worth all of your work! Sometimes I wish I was a Food Network start and I could just whip my dishes in the sink and someone would take care of em :-)

  20. OMG, look at all those dishes! Guess you'll have to stay up all night. haha....

  21. Wow thats outstanding and im not talking about the pile of dishes!

  22. oh my!! that's the worst thing about kitchen creations...the dishes!!!
    other than that, it definitely is worth it :)

  23. i always wonder how tyler makes this stuff look so easy on his show! i usually end up with similar messes when i make his recipes, but they are SO worth it. the pictures look great.


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