Saffron Infused Gnocchi and Grilled Basil Tofu with Fennel & Olive Caponata Relish

Serves: 4

Chef Top Tip

"These gnocchi are a little time consuming but undoubtedly worth it, but if time is short, use pre-made and add some saffron strands to the cooking water."


  • 900g peeled Maris piper potatoes, cut into chunks
  • Good pinch of saffron, hydrated in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1 tsp garlic puree
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 whole egg
  • Handful of baby basil leaves
  • 250g basil tofu, cut into 2.5 cm cubes
  • Little olive oil for grilling

For the caponata:

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 heads fennel, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 12 black olives, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 75g sun blush tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and dried
  • ½ tsp sugar


For the gnocchi:

  1. Place the potatoes in a pan, cover with water, boil until tender then drain well. Return to the dry pan for 5 minutes over a very low heat to remove excess moisture.
  2. Rub the potatoes through a fine sieve (or ricer), place in a large bowl adding the saffron and garlic; season and mix well.
  3. Add the flour, egg, and then knead for 2-3 minutes into smooth dough.
  4. Using your hands roll the dough into a 2cm cylinder, then cut cylinder into 2cm lengths.
  5. With a fork form into classic gnocchi shape. Place the finished gnocchi on a floured tray until ready to cook.

For the caponata:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the fennel along with 100ml of water; cook until the fennel is tender and water has evaporated.
  2. Add the olives, vinegar, tomatoes, capers and sugar; cook for 10 minutes, season and keep warm.

To serve:

  1. Heat a pan grill until hot, brush the tofu cubes liberally with olive oil and place on the grill to cook them until golden; about 2-3 minutes, turning them as they cook.
  2. Meanwhile cook the gnocchi in a pan of boiling water until they rise to the surface, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.
  3. Dress the gnocchi in four serving bowls, place some grilled basil tofu around, spoon over the caponata relish and scatter over the basil leaves to serve.

All products marked in bold are available to purchase through Vegetarian Express.