A fresh dish of nettle gnocchi, labneh, herbs and foraged foliage, championing the first shoots and vibrant greenery of early April at the Farm.
For the wild garlic labneh
300mL full fat yoghurt
10 large wild garlic leaves
½ tbsp salt
Mix the yoghurt and salt together and leave to strain through a muslin cloth overnight.
Finely chop the wild garlic and combine with labneh; season with a little fresh black pepper.
For the nettle purée
12 large handfuls of nettle tips (top 4 to 6 leaves, washed well in cold water)
5L boiling water
Salt the water and bring to the boil. Blanch the nettles for 2 minutes, remove from the boiling water and refresh in icy cold water. Drain the nettles and squeeze out the excess water. Blitz in a food processor to create a smooth purée.
For the gnocchi
1kg Russet potatoes
3 egg yolks
250g plain flour + extra for dusting
150mL nettle purée
150g hard goats cheese (grated)
salt & black pepper
150mL olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
Wash the potatoes well and prick all over with a fork. Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºc until soft inside; about 45 minutes depending on size.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Half the potatoes when they're just cool enough to handle. Scoop out the soft inside, and squeeze through a potato ricer or mouli. Mash the riced potatoes and add the cheese, nettle purée, and a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Mix to combine.
Add the egg yolks and half the flour and tip onto the work surface. Knead the dough, adding more flour if the mixture is too gluey. You are looking to create and workable dough that isn’t too sticky. Check the seasoning. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
Roll out your dough into long sausages about 1.5cm in diameter. Cut the dumpling into 2cm long pieces and roll them against the front of a fork to create ridges.
Cook the dumplings in batches in the boiling water, stirring very gently to prevent them sticking together. When they begin to float, cook for a further 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and dress with the olive oil and lemon zest.
For the garnish
A selection of edible shoots and flowers, freshly picked from the garden
Plate the labneh and dumplings first, then garnish with the shoots and flowers and serve immediately.