From time immemorial, poppies have always been the ignored in favor of anemones. Actually, the two flowers are very similar, and only a kid that runs around a field of flowers with a botanic guidebook can really tell the difference.
The anemone, however has been declared an endangered flower, and the poppy has been declared an insignificant weed - even before discussing the narcotics it can produce, let alone the contributions it can make to recipes.
In any recipe, it’s best to use fresh, ground poppy seed, rather than trusting what you can find on the supermarket shelves, that’s been there for who knows how long. You can find fresh ground poppy seeds at organic markets or stores specializing in spices.
You should keep the fresh poppy in the refrigerator until you use it, and if you plan to keep it for over a week, put in in the freezer, as it can survive in there for months.
Sweet potato Gnocchi with poppy seed, in sage butter, almonds, and pecorino
Ingredients for the gnocchi:
2 medium sized sweet potatoes
2 cups of kosher salt
1 egg yolk
½ cup of flour (sometimes slightly more is necessary)
For the sauce:
50 grams butter
50 grams whole almonds
2 sage leaves
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
50 grams grated pecorino cheese
1. Preheat the oven to its hottest setting. Spread the kosher salt on a baking pan, and place the two sweet potatoes on the pan. Roast until the peels have turned black, and the sweet potatoes become soft. Peel and mash.
2. Add salt, flour, and egg yolk, and stir into a dough. If it sticks, add more flour.
3. Boil water in a pot with salt.
4. Spread flour over a flat surface, and work the dough into a long, thin strip. Cut into pieces roughly 2 centimeters long.
5. Melt the butter in a frying pan, add the almonds, letting them become golden brown.
6. Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water, and in the meantime, add the sage leaves and poppy seed. When the Gnocchi starts to float, put them in the pan and lightly sauté.
7. Transfer the gnocchi and the sauce into a serving dish, and add the pecorino cheese.
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