Potato gnocchi, waterblommetjies, parmesan custard

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  • Serves


    Starter Portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Rust en Vrede

Gnocchi is one of my all-time favourite foods to eat, especially with pesto. Waterblommetjies, native to the Western Cape, were farmed extensively by Danie van Tubbergh in the Worcester area, close to where I went to school. I haven’t met too many people that passionate about their product. I’m very grateful to him for organising these for me while the Cape was suffering the worst drought in many years. It also has to be said that waterblommetjies will cook better on the stove in a pot with lamb bones and mirepoix (diced vegetables). They are delicious when eaten straight out of the pot, really tender, with fresh lemon juice squeezed onto them.



  • 24 waterblommetjies
  • 80 ml chicken stock
  • 20 g butter
  • 10 ml lemon juice
  • 5 g salt
  • ice bath – to chill
  • 48 gnocchi dumplings – 6 per serving
  • 32 piped dots parmesan custard – 4 per serving
  • 32 shavings parmesan – 4 per serving
  • 8 black lime slices – 1 per serving
  • lime zest – to finish
  • pea shoots – to finish


Place the waterblommetjies in a vacuum bag with the remaining ingredients. Vacuum seal and sous vide at 89°C for 8 hours or until very tender. Alternatively, cook the waterblommetjies until tender in a vacuum pack in simmering water for 6–8 hours, and then plunge into ice bath to chill.

To assemble, arrange each plate as you like or as per the photo. Place 6 hot golden gnocchi dumplings on each hot plate. Add 3 hot waterblommetjies. Onto each plate pipe 4 dots of parmesan custard and add 4 parmesan shavings, and finish with 1 black lime slice, a sprinkling of lime zest and pea shoots.