Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi has been blowing up my Instagram feed ever since it hit the frozen section earlier this year. So I was super excited when I finally snagged a bag a few months ago. I read the cooking instructions skeptically, unsure as to how I was supposed to achieve those perfectly browned pillows of joy by sautéing them in water. Won’t they stick together and get gooey? I thought. Ten minutes later, I wished I’d stuck to my gut as I spooned slimy pillows of gluey, gnocchi-shaped things onto our plates. Dinner that night came with a side of my apologies. And yet…the taste was there.
A few weeks ago, I bought another bag and decided to try again. This time, I followed my Italian girl instincts and sautéed them in a healthy amount of avocado oil, checking with tongs before flipping them. The result: perfect gnocchi. With a crunchy caramelized outside and satisfyingly chewy inside, cauliflower gnocchi has graced our table at least once a week ever since. And this recipe is by far my favorite.
I cannot overemphasize this enough: do NOT follow the directions on the bag. The trick to keeping cauliflower gnocchi from sticking to the pan (or each other) is to gently drop the still-frozen gnocchi into hot oil. Then, leave them alone! When they’re ready to be flipped, most will release easily from the pan. Some will still lose their caramelized tops, and that’s okay! Flip them anyway and brown on the other side, scraping up the browned bits. They add delicious crunch to your dish…if you can avoid snacking on them while you’re plating.
I also have a pomegranate-peeling tip: slice the fruit in half, then submerge in water to peel. The pith will float to the top, and the juice won’t spray all over you and stain your shirt.
The rest is pretty straightforward, which is what I love about this dish. It’s yet another easy, versatile fall recipe that works great as a weeknight meal, but also feels special enough to serve as a Thanksgiving side. Enjoy!
Cauliflower Gnocchi With Kale And Pomegranate Seeds
This easy, healthy dish makes a delicious weeknight meal or a scrumptious Thanksgiving side. The best part: it's done in under 30 minutes.
- 1 bag Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi
- 1/4 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 c curly kale washed torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- 6 leaves fresh sage
- pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet until hot, but not smoking. Use a spoon to gently add the frozen gnocchi, sliced onion, and sage, taking care not to splash yourself with hot oil. Sauté for 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Place the kale in a large bowl and toss with dressing until coated. Massage the dressing into the kale leaves with your fingers until they start to wilt slightly, about two minutes.
Using tongs, check the gnocchi for doneness. Flip them over when most are golden brown and release easily from the pan. Stir the onions and sage. Sauté for another 4 minutes.
When both sides are browned, remove from the pan and place in the bowl with the kale. Add the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, toss, and serve.