Summer Veggie Gnocchi with Brown Butter

Gnocchi made right tastes like warm soft potato pillows in your mouth. Really! Of course when I say “made right”, I mean the refrigerated kind, or at least the ones I’ve found here. Making my own is far more work than I have the space or energy for.

For awhile it seemed like Brown Butter was the “in” thing to cook with. I saw lots of recipes calling for it. It intrigued me but I hadn’t given it a try until this recipe. It’s true, it has a nice rich nutty flavor and adds more richness.

Gnocchi and real butter are easy to find in Spain. And the fresh vegetables here taste so good, especially the tomatoes. I’ve had some of the best cherry tomatoes of my life here.

I had to revise the original recipe a bit. My local supermercado isn’t the biggest store around. It has a pretty good selection of fresh produce and selection of items but nothing like supermarkets back home. Click here to see the original recipe : Summer Gnocchi and/or see below for my rendition.

Summer Veggie Gnocchi with Brown Butter

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 to 3 handfuls of frozen mixed veggies (the one I chose had: green beans, carrots, onion)
  • 1/2 onion – chopped (unless of course your frozen mixed veggies include onion)
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional – you may have a hard time finding in Spain, they do not have a spicy pallet)
  • 1 package gnocchi – I prefer the refrigerated kind
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add zucchini, frozen veggies, onion, and a pinch of salt. Saute for approximately 5-7 minutes until zucchini is crisp-tender. Add cherry tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes and saute until veggies are lightly browned and tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. While veggies are cooking, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook gnocchi to package directions. Drain and add to skillet with the veggies.
  3. Make the brown butter. Heat butter and oregano in a small skillet on low heat. Cook until melted. Continue to cook until eventually starts to foam, stirring regularly to scrape up the bottom and prevent burning. Cook until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape butter over the gnocchi and veggies. Toss to combine.

What are some of your favorite gnocchi recipes?

Spanish Potato Salad with Tuna and a Smokey Vinaigrette

June, 2019

Spanish Potato Salad with a smokey vinaigrette

This weekend was the Festival Corpus Christi and the Summer Solstice.

In Valencia, Corpus Christi is celebrated by parades of religious persons, such as little girls in their beautiful white confirmation dresses, women and children in their traditional Valencian dresses (seriously beautiful), church volunteers who wear black dresses with black lace shawls fastened to their giant hair combs (they look like the movie renditions of widows) , and men dressed as roman soldiers and characters of the bible. There were floats of dragon, turtle, and strange unknown creatures.

According to Visiting Valencia website Corpus Christi is a demonstration of the coexistence of the religious, symbolic, metaphorical, festive spirit in Valencian society.

Just in time for Summer Solstice, the heat and humidity arrived. Needless to say, it was definitely time to break out the salad and minimal heat/work required recipes for dinner. I found a recipe from MA mediterrasian for Spanish Potato Salad which I revised by cutting out the parsley and eye-balling the measurements. This has become a regular repeat recipe in our home.

It can be served warm or cold. I like it both ways. I’ll serve it warm the first night and then serve the leftovers cold. Que rico!

I like to use the small white potatoes. The ones with the light, thin skins and can be found in a bag or loose. This makes cooking a lot easier. You don’t have to peel the potatoes and because they’re small, it cuts down on your prep time.

Here is Spain beans are found dry or in glass jars. The most popular are garbanzo, cannellini, and lentils, than kidney. Black beans, however, are hard to find but that’s another story for another recipe.

I didn’t always like green olives but the ones here are good enough to convert the toughest critic. I highly recommend giving them a try. The most popular are stuffed with anchovies. I’ve tried them in this recipe and they went really well. If you prefer a less fishy taste, we really enjoy lemon green olives but any green olives will work. Just make sure they don’t have pits.

Spanish Potato Salad with Tuna,White Beans, and a Smokey Vinaigrette

Serves: 4

A Spanish potato salad with tuna and white beans/cannellini beans, that can be served warm and/or cold.

  • 1 lb (450g) small white potatoes – peeled or unpeeled and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper – roughly chopped (I like them a bit bigger than a normal chop size)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 red onion – finely chopped
  • 12 green olives – without pits (see above)
  • 1/2 jar or can cannellini beans/white beans – drained and rinsed (see above)
  • 6 oz (156g) canned tuna in olive oil – drained and flaked
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves – finely chopped or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, regular paprika, or spicy, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper or to taste

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Add the chopped red and green peppers to boiling water for 3 minutes. While potatoes are boiling, in a large salad bowl add olive oil, vinegar, garlic, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, whisk until combined. Add the chopped onion, drained beans, and green olives. Once potatoes and peppers are done, drain and add to salad bowl. Toss gently until well combined. Enjoy!

What are some of your favorite potato and/or tuna recipes?

Patatas con Salsa Pimienta (Potatoes with Peppercorn Sauce)

Spaniards love their potatoes. You will find patatas fritas and patatas bravas on every menu in Valencia. Crots also love potatoes and french fries. Ok, ok, ok, who doesn’t like potatoes? They’re delicious and awesome.

When we were in Dubrovnik we happened upon dipping our french fries into peppercorn sauce. It was amazing! Ever since I’ve been craving that taste again. I did some digging online and found a recipe I liked and went out to purchase the ingredients, but of course being in Spain, some of the ingredients weren’t readily available. I gotta say I was a little disappointed but I figured I would continue to look around. Wouldn’t you know, the next day my local market had stocked a peppercorn sauce that was already made and ready to go. Jackpot! Easy-peasy!!

Potatoes with Peppercorn Sauce

Serves – 2

Fried Potatoes:

  • 6 small to medium sized Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil, more if needed (see note)
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Chop potatoes into bite sized pieces. Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add potatoes. Let potatoes brown for approximately 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size. Turning them every 7 to 10 minutes until you can pierce a fork through them easily . (see note)

Peppercorn Sauce:

While I didn’t get to try making the sauce on my own, I did find several great recipes that sounded delicious. Hopefully I’ll be able to try one soon. This one here sounds good and easy, check it out: Black Peppercorn Sauce by Lovefoodies.


  • The potatoes need a fair amount of oil in order to get it nice and crispy. If you see that the pan needs more oil, heat up a little (1 to 2 Tablespoons) more in another small sauce pan or skillet. Once warm pour into skillet with potatoes. I wouldn’t recommend pouring cold oil into the pan with the potatoes.
  • The secret to getting a nice crispy browned potato: DO NOT TOUCH potatoes for 7 to 10. Once they have a good char, then turn them and DO NOT TOUCH them again for another 7 to 10 minutes.

The beginning…

When in Spain, order the Cafe con leche. You won't be disappointed.
Cafe con leche

Since grade school, I’ve wanted to travel and live abroad. I remember wanting to be a Cruise Director too like Julie from The Love Boat and on career day talking to a Travel Agent (apparently the school couldn’t find a cruise director) about her job and all the trips she’s taken for free or very cheaply. All with the hope and goal of traveling the world when I grew up. In high school, I wanted to be an exchange student and live in Greece. I dreamt about the places I would go, the food I would eat, the people I would meet, and all the adventures and experiences I would have. It took me a lot longer than I had hoped to start traveling and I haven’t been to as many places as I’d like but I am here now, living in Spain. I am on that adventure! I love cooking, baking, trying new recipes, and love to eat out. It’s my hope to use this blog as a way to document my experiences along the way and maybe evoke some inspiration in others. Thanks so much for reading! Salud!!

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