Grilled Gnocchi with Red Pepper Recipe

My husband recently turned 30, and to celebrate the momentous occasion, we treated ourselves to a dinner at our favorite restaurant, Millennium. The all upscale San Francisco eatery frequently wins awards for best vegan restaurant, wooing a largely non-vegan clientele who don’t miss the meat. They use organic, local foods when possible, and recycle and compost.

The dishes have such complex flavors, in combinations I’d have never thought up. One of my favorites was a lemon basil sorbet we had for dessert that was outstanding. They sell several cookbooks, but I’ve always shied away from it, as I’ve heard (and would have to imagine) that the recipes would be too complicated.

Instead during our meal this weekend, I tried to guess how some of the dishes were made and see if I could emulate them myself. This recipe is based on an appetizer we had, but I paired it with a side salad as a full meal.

Of course the greener and more authentic option would be to make your own gnocchi from scratch. However, it’s fairly time-consuming, and the two times I tried making it previously resulted in a big floury fail. I didn’t have a hard time finding it made without egg (it’s debatable which is the “true Italian” way) but here’s one recipe if you want to give it a shot.

While you boil the water for your gnocchi, start on the sauce. In a food processor combine:

1 Cup cashews (I used roasted because that’s what I had on hand, but you’ll get a lighter flavor if you choose raw cashews)
9 oz. roasted red peppers
1/4 Tsp paprika
1/4 Tsp garlic salt
Sprinkle of cayenne and black pepper

Start mixing, and as it goes add in 3/4 Cup milk of your choosing. (I used soy.) Blend until you’ve got a nice creamy consistency.

Once your water is boiling, add the gnocchi (I used a 14 oz. package). In a frying pan melt a heaping tablespoon of butter (or Earth Balance) and about 1/4 tsp of sage. It should start sizzling just about the time your gnocchi start rising to the surface of the water.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the risen gnocchi to the pan. As they cook, flip them so they brown on both sides. In a small pot heat the red pepper sauce for just a few minutes. Once the gnocchi are a nice golden color, serve them in a bed of the red pepper sauce.

While the results were no Millennium, they were very flavorful, and relatively quick to prepare. And we didn’t even need reservations.

Readers: got a favorite veggie restaurant in your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments!

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About the Author

Sharon began working as Green Options' Office Manager, and has gone on to wear many hats, working also as Intern Coordinator, Editor, and Social Media Coordinator. In the GO office, she is perhaps best known as the founder and chef for the weekly "Soup Day." Prior to working with Green Options, Sharon earned a BA in Humanities from New College of California, and worked in the nonprofit arts and education sector. A vegetarian for seven years, and vegan for nearly three, Sharon has a bit of an obsession for plant-based food. When she's not hanging out in the bulk aisle of her local food co-op, Sharon is at home, trying to grow hydroponic basil, playing with her white fluffy cat, or annoying her neighbors by singing showtunes.
  • I love gnocchi, and I can’t go to SF without eating at the Millennium.

  • Awesome recipes Sharon! I’m bookmarking these as you post them!

  • Ryan

    Another great looking recipe that I can’t wait to try, Sharon! I’ve always liked throwing in a little nutritional yeast into any cashew-based sauces I’m making. Gives them a bit of a “cheesy” kick.

    As far as restaurants go, I just took my Mom to a new-ish vegetarian (almost every dish can be made vegan upon request) restaurant in Napa for her birthday last night called Ubuntu. It reminded me of Millennium, actually: gloriously over-priced, but great food with the complex flavors you’d expect from any decent foodie establishment. They also make excellent use of their own biodynamic garden (I had some summer squash that was delish). Certainly a worthy restaurant for the “special occasion” list. If only BART made it to the north bay!

    Final thought… shouldn’t it be, “Earth Balance (or butter)”?


  • Ryan: I totally wanted to try Ubuntu last time I was up in wine country, but I was with a big group and everyone wanted to come back to the city. But I’ve had it highly recommended from others. Will have to try it one of these days.

    In the mean time, do you have any recs for nice veggies restaurants south of the city? Taking a road trip later this summer.

  • Joe

    Love the blog, always enjoy reading it. I really like these gnocchi. I just made a gnocchi with choux pastry for the first time and it was incredible. Come take a look if you have a chance and let me know what you think.

    Thanks so much!


  • That sounds fabulous! My mother in law just made us some “cheese” dip the other day using cashews with nutritional yeast, I never would’ve thought to use them in a sauce. So clever and creamy. Can’t wait to try this recipe!