The Green Barbecue: Rukmini Iyer’s crispy gnocchi with charred peppers and basil pesto

Forget just plain old vegetables on a stick – here, you intersperse veg of your choice on skewers with just-blanched gnocchi. The result: crisp perfection like you wouldn’t believe.

gnocchi skewers
David Loftus


500g packet of gnocchi
3 red, orange or yellow peppers, chopped into gnocchi-size pieces
2 tbsp vegan basil pesto
3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing
Pinch of sea salt flakes
A good amount of freshly ground black peppercorns
8-12 skewers, soaked if wooden

1⁄2 lemon, juice only
4 tbsp vegan basil pesto
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt flakes

  1. Tip the gnocchi into a bowl of just-boiled water, and leave to blanch for 2 minutes, then drain and run under cold water to cool. Put the gnocchi into a large bowl with the chopped peppers, vegan pesto, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, and mix well to coat. At this point you could refrigerate the gnocchi until you’re ready to barbecue.
  2. Thread the gnocchi and pepper alternately on to the skewers. Once your barbecue is good and hot, brush one side of the skewers with oil, then lay them over the barbecue at a slight angle (this stops them falling through) and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the gnocchi are crisp and brown. Brush the tops with oil, then turn over and repeat with the other side.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the lemon juice, pesto and extra virgin olive oil with a pinch of sea salt flakes to taste. Once the skewers are cooked through, serve immediately, with the basil dressing alongside.

TIP There’s really no limit to the number of things you could pair with gnocchi on a stick – try cherry tomatoes and halloumi or tofu, or cubes of fresh fennel and halved figs. And you could use red pesto, harissa or mustard mixed through with olive oil as a marinade.

Now buy the book

The Green BarbecueOur recipes are from The Green Barbecue by Rukmini Iyer, published by Square Peg, price £17.99. To order a copy for £15.29 until 9 May call 020 3308 9193 or go to Free p&p on orders over £20. Rukmini has donated her fee for this extract to Refuge.