At The Werf restaurant on Boschendal, chef Christiaan Campbell loves to cook farm-to-table food with a surprise element. Here’s his Smoked Salmon Gnocchi with Asparagus and Slow-cooked Egg recipe.
- 1 salmon trout (about 1.5kg)
- 500g coarse salt
- 100g fine sugar
- grated zest of a lemon, grapefruit, orange
- 100g smoked salmon paste
- 500g potato, preferably the Nicola variety
- 200g flour
- 3 eggs
- 20g salted butter
- grated nutmeg
- olive oil for dressing
- 300g green asparagus
- 6 free-range eggs
- Fillet and pinbone the salmon trout and cure in a citric curing salt for about 20 minutes.
- For the curing salt, place the coarse salt, fine sugar and citrus zest in a blender and mix well until semi-fine. Curing salt can be washed well and reused after air drying.
- Cold smoke the fish with oak chips to add fragrance and flavour. Remember that curing and smoking allows for a longer shelf life.
- For the gnocchi, take 100g of the smoked salmon and mix it into a fine paste.
- Cook the potatoes, with the skin on, in seasoned water until soft. Peel when cooked and allow extra water to evaporate. Keep the potatoes warm until ready to use. Leave salted butter on a semi-low heat until it turns brown.
- Separate the eggs. Thoroughly mash potato (or use a potato press), make a well in the potato and add the egg yolks, half the flour, nutmeg and a pinch of salt. Add the smoked salmon paste and mix into a dough using the rest of the flour where needed.
- Cut dough onto 100g portions, roll each one into a tube, slice into 2cm portions and create ovals, using the extra flour to prevent them from sticking together.
- Place the gnocchi into boiling water and remove as soon as they float to the surface. (If you want to use them later place the gnocchi in ice water to stop the cooking process). Gently pat dry the gnocchi and dress with good olive oil. Pan-fry the gnocchi to add colour and flavour.
- To make an egg and asparagus garnish, blanch or pan-fry the asparagus until cooked but crunchy. Place some vinegar into salted boiling water and stir well clockwise to create a vortex, before poaching the eggs.
If you don’t want to smoke your own fish, use ready-smoked salmon trout.
Wine suggestion: Boschendal Reserve Collection Sauvignon Blanc