You know when you’re travelling and you’re STARVING and everything around you is meat and bread and milk and you’re about to pass out in malnourished agony, and your friend takes you to a vegan restaurant? That’s the feeling I had when I entered Nishta restaurant in Zagreb and took a gander at the menu. There I tried a sensational raw gnocchi which I recreated as soon as I got back home. Nishta gnocchi had lashings of pesto, vegan parmesan and sour cream, and although it was delish it needed something acidic to cur through the fat. The gnocchi are made from nuts and zucchini and were on the rich side, so in my version I held off on the added fats…. The gnocchi from Nishta that I absolutely loved and had to recreate:
My version of the raw gnocchi
In my version I used a ready made exotic thai pesto from Wattle Valley – it’s the only one at Woolworths that is dairy free, and Jenna made the vegan parmesan. I didn’t use a sour cream and I added more tomatoes to cut through the fat. Rocket was my salad of choice, and for the actual gnocchi part I used a mix of cashews, almonds and brazil nuts. I soaked the nuts for 4 hours so that they were moist and easy to work with, then I chopped them in my mixer and added grated raw zucchini. I toyed with the idea of adding balsamic vinegar for an extra layer of freshness, and that’s something you can try if you want to build on the flavours that are already there. The raw gnocchi is best eaten the day it was made, lovely and fresh.
- 1 zucchini, peeled and grated
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup brazil nuts
- ½ tsp dried italian herbs
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 3 tbsp of Exotic Thai pesto (or a pesto you make yourself)
- handful of cherry tomatoes
- vegan parmesan
- handful of rocket
- fresh basil
- Soak all the nuts for 4 hours, then drain.
- Wash, peel and grate zucchini.
- Add nuts, zucchini, salt and herbs to a blender and chop.
- Shape zucchini with your hands until you have used the entire mixture.
- Wash and slice the large tomatoes and place on the plate.
- Add gnocchi, and pop some pesto over the gnocchi and around the plate.
- Add a handful of rocket over the gnocchi.
- If you’re using fresh basil place it on top of the dish.
- Wash and quarter the cherry tomatoes and place around the plate.
- If you’re using parmesan add a generous sprinkle over the entire dish.