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!