This is a play on one of my favourite flavour mixes, i.e. asparagus & orange. The quantities indicated below are for a main size but this dish could well be served as an entree.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 1 packet of gnocchi – or make your own
- 24 green prawns
- 2 bunches of green asparagus cut in 3 at an angle to enhance the presentation
- 2 to 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped – depending on your affinity to garlic
- 12 leaves of fresh sage* or 12 leaves of fresh spearmint* finely chopped
- Blood orange olive oil from Gwydir Grove – or any orange olive oil. If you do not have orange oil, orange zest works well too.
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
Step 1 – Peel the Prawns: Peel the prawns, make an incision on 1 to 1.5cm where it is at its largest and remove the intestinal tract (see picture). Cutting the prawns in this fashion not only improves the presentation, it also evens the cooking process.
Step 2 – Marinate: Marinate the prawns for 15 minutes* with garlic, sage or spearmint, half the lemon juice and two teaspoons of blood orange olive oil.
Step 3 – Boil the Gnocchi: Bring salted water to the boil and add a few drops of olive oil before adding the gnocchi*. Cook for 3 minutes or as per the package’s instructions, drain and set aside.
Step 4 – Boil the Asparagus: Cook the green asparagus in salted water for 4 minutes*, drain and set aside.
Step 5 – Stir-Fry: In a fry pan or wok, heat the olive oil and add the prawns when the oil is hot. Quickly sear the prawn for 2 minutes and add the asparagus, gnocchi and a touch of olive oil. Cook for another 2 minutes until a slight brown crust forms on the gnocchi. Add 4 more finely chopped sage or spearmint leaves, lemon juice, salt & pepper.
Step 6 – Serve: You might want to drizzle with a few more drops of blood orange olive oil before serving with lemon cheeks.
Enjoy with a Semillon or Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.
*Did you Know?
- Sage contains thujol, which is a toxin that affects the nervous system. For this reason, sage should only be used occasionally and sparingly. If you are concerned about thujol, mint works just as well in this recipe – sage and mint actually belong to the same family.
- If you do use mint, choose spearmint rather than peppermint as menthol, the main chemical compound in peppermint, degenerates when heated.
- One should carefully follow suggested marinating times, particularly if using lemon, as it slowly but surely cooks seafood.
- Adding olive oil to cooking water reduces the stickiness of pasta/noodles/gnocchi.
- Adding salt to cooking water does not only flavour pasta/noodles/gnocchi, but also improves consistency by reducing stickiness.
- Cooking vegetables in salted water improves the retention of flavour and nutrients.
I can personally attest to this dish being as delicious as it looks!