“From the SCCC Kitchen” offers Daily Gazette readers tastes from Schenectady County Community College’s nationally accredited American Culinary Federation culinary arts program. Recipes selected by SCCC instructors can easily be prepared at home. August means summer vegetables, so technical specialist (and certified executive chef) Christopher Tanner presents a mix of squash, zucchini and gnocchi —with olives and tomatoes along for the party. The name of the game is “Gnocchi With Olives and Summer Vegetables.” Tanner offers more cooking tips at his blog, “Gastronomic Inspirations” at cheftanner.com
Christopher Tanner knows gnocchi.
He understands the small dumplings are hearty fare, perfect for autumn or winter supper tables. But when summer vegetables are in season, the chef doesn’t mind giving gnocchi a few cameo appearances during local swimming pool and racetrack seasons.
“This is actually a dish I use partially at the restaurant I run over the summer at the Patron’s Club in Saratoga Springs at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center,” Tanner said. “I traditionally use this with lamb. Here, I’ve simplified the dish a little bit. Gnocci is a potato pasta found in Italy, [and] also found in France. I’m doing the French version.”
The summer version of the recipe means fresh ingredients.
“Summer squash and zucchini are in season now,” Tanner said. “This is one of those dishes where if you go to the summer farmers’ markets you can pick up all these ingredients and make this is as a nice quick summer dinner. If you want to add some sausage as well, which I do at the restaurant, it’s a complete meal.”
With all the summer colors and textures on the plate, food fans should remember to appreciate the gnocchi.
“Pasta is so thin it ends up being more about the condiment that goes along with it,” Tanner said, “where gnocchi have a lot of texture, they’re really soft, kind of like little pillows of pasta.”
Gnocchi With Olives and Summer Vegetables
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 zucchini, seeded, cut into half moons
2 yellow squash, seeded, cut into half moons
1 pound gnocchi (store-bought or home-made, pre-cooked)
1 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1⁄2 pound tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
1 lemon, halved
Place butter and olive oil in pan; sauté zucchini and squash until lightly browned, then remove from pan. Sauté gnocchi until slightly brown.
Add the olives, tomatoes, chives and heat through. Add additional butter at end along with the parsley and the juice of the lemon.