Crispy brown butter gnocchi w/ meyer lemon & brussels sprouts

Never had Meyer lemon in my life. Now, twice in one month! At the rate I’m going, I’m going to turn into a Meyer lemon. Probably not though. Because science.

Gnocchi is probably my favorite kind of pasta. So much so that if a restaurant we go to has gnocchi with a gorgonzola cream sauce, it’s probably going to wind up being my order, and I am not going to share it with you, even if you are my wife and half of what I own belongs to you.

Keep your fork away from my plate, Wife.

If there is a drawback to gnocchi gorgonzola, it’s the heavyness of the cream sauce, which typically uses a combination of butter, flour, cream and cheese. It’s a sauce you can’t live on because instead of living on that sauce 24/7, you would most likely die.

Recently though, Blue Apron sent out a gnocchi dish finished in a brown butter sauce. A brown butter sauce isn’t completely healthy, but it’s healthier by default.

The dish was also packed with vegetables, using red onion and brussels sprout leaves to balance everything out.

Ultimately though, this one is sort of a thumbs in the middle dish for me. It just felt like it was missing something. I would definitely make it again, but with a few small changes:

  • I know it’s a healthier version of a typically heavy pasta, but I’m going to have to do one of two things to give it some extra punch. I’d recommend either more butter (and pasta water) to keep the dish from being too dry, or the use of some diced bacon or pancetta to finish the dish. Either option is going to add excess fat, so I wouldn’t recommend doing both.
  • This dish had way too much red onion. Perhaps it was just that the onion in our delivery was too big, but the ratio of gnocchi to onion wasn’t very balanced. It seemed more like a red onion dish than a gnocchi dish. As a result, I found myself pulling about half of the cooked onion from the pan before plating, and saving the leftovers for a future dish. If you make this, I would recommend a smaller red onion or using only half of a medium to large sized onion.

So what are your thoughts? Was this a good dish or do you think it’s fine as is? Am I biased against this dish because I keep thinking about eating a big plate of gnocchi gorgonzola? Can I have that delivered for lunch and eat it here at my desk? Or am I totally in the right about these loose criticisms and deserve a roaring round of applause?

Leave a comment below!



Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron
Serves 2
Blue Apron calories: About 515
My Fitness Pal calories: 658

10 Ounces Gnocchi
½ Pound Brussels Sprouts
1 Clove Garlic
1 Meyer Lemon
1 Red Onion
1 Bunch Thyme
3 Tablespoons Butter
Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and mince the garlic. Peel, halve and thinly slice the onion.Cut off and discard the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts. Pick off and reserve the Brussels sprout leaves until you reach the lighter cores; discard the cores. Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Pick the thyme leaves off the stems; discard the stems and roughly chop the leaves.

Add the gnocchi to the pot of boiling water and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until the gnocchi float to the top of the pot. Reserving ½ cup of the gnocchi cooking water, drain thoroughly.

In a large pan, heat the butter on medium-high until melted. Add the cooked gnocchi and cook, stirring and swirling the pan occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the gnocchi are lightly browned and the butter is deep golden brown and fragrant.

Add the garlic and onion to the pan of gnocchi and butter; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until softened.

Add the Brussels sprouts, thyme, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges and half the reserved gnocchi cooking water to the pan of gnocchi, butter and aromatics. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining gnocchi cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the finished gnocchi between 2 dishes. Garnish with the cheese. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges on the side, if you’d like. Enjoy!




5 thoughts on “Crispy brown butter gnocchi w/ meyer lemon & brussels sprouts

  1. Hi Ryan,

    I’ve been doing Blue Apron since November and I don’t recall that dish, and I haven’t seen it show up. Was it an alternate selection you chose? I don’t usually futz with the lineup.

    I agree though with your onion assessment. I think because they cannot control the portion size of the onion they send you, you need to be aware of the amount used. I have had similar experiences in their other dishes even where they use shallots. The raw onion flavor can become too much.



    • Yeah, Bill, it was a vegetarian option or week or two ago. We try to go meatless once a week of possible for health reasons (and because I skip ALL salmon dishes, which seem to be common. Get out of here, you salmon!)


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