Holiday dining at home: Chicago chef John Boudouvas’ grilled sourdough crostini and smoked potato gnocchi recipes
Greece meets Italy in two of Nonnina chef’s favorite recipes.
We asked Chicago chefs to share their favorite holiday recipes, dishes that reflect their cultural traditions, and to tell us why the recipes mean so much to them. Here is one recipe to make at home during the holiday season or any time of year.
Chef John Boudouvas
Nonnina, 340 N. Clark St.
Dish: Grilled sourdough crostini with honey-whipped feta, roasted butternut squash, toasted ricotta salata, maple syrup
Dish: Smoked potato gnocchi, ground turkey, roasted Brussels sprouts, charred corn, cherry tomatoes and Parmesan brodo
“It’s interesting coming from a Greek household and background, and being a head chef for Italian restaurants. Greece and Italy are so close. My family likes to spin classic Italian dishes by adding a little Greek flair, like adding honey whipped feta to a grilled sourdough crostini. You get a little taste of childhood with each bite.” — Chef John Boudouvas
Grilled sourdough crostini with honey whipped feta, roasted butternut squash, toasted ricotta salata and maple syrup
- 6 (1-inch) slices sourdough bread
- 8 oz feta cheese
- 4 oz mascarpone cheese
- 3 oz honey
- 3 cups diced butternut squash, cut into ½-inch-thick pieces
- 3 oz ricotta salata cheese
- ¼ cup maple syrup
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Lightly brush bread with oil and grill. You want a nice char but not burnt.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, add feta, mascarpone, honey until well-combined.
4. In a large bowl, season the cut butternut squash with salt and pepper, sage and a drizzle of olive oil.
5. Place butternut squash on a baking sheet and place in the oven until it’s soft but still has a little bit of a bite.
6. In a hot, non-stick skillet with a touch of oil, toast the ricotta salata cheese until lightly brown on all sides and allow to cool on a towel-lined plate, and crumble with a fork or your fingertips.
Place a few spoonfuls of the feta cheese mixture on the grilled bread, top with roasted butternut squash, then with the toasted ricotta salata and drizzle with the maple syrup.
Smoked potato gnocchi with ground turkey, roasted Brussels sprouts, charred corn, cherry tomatoes and Parmesan brodo
- 3 lbs russet potatoes
- 2 ½ pounds all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 5 lbs ground turkey
- 3 lbs Brussels sprouts, quartered
- 3 ears corn
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 24 oz Parmesan broth
- 4 tbsp butter
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a pot of salted water boil the unpeeled potatoes until they are cooked through.
2. While the potatoes are still warm, peel and place the potatoes in a smoker (I prefer to use apple and cherry wood chips) and smoke for 15 minutes.
3. Run the potatoes through a food mill and place in a mound with the flour and the eggs in the middle (on table or counter work surface).
4. Slowly mix the eggs with the flour and potato mixture, until all the flour is incorporated, and a dough is formed, making sure the dough is dry and pulls away from the table.
5. Roll out the dough into 3/4 inch dowels and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
6. In a pot of salted water, blanch the gnocchi until they float to the top. Place on an oiled tray and allow to cool.
7. In a preheated oven, roast the Brussels sprouts until browned and cooked through.
8. On a hot grill, cook the ears of corn until a nice char forms.
9. Toss the cherry tomatoes in a bowl with a little oil and roast in the oven until the skins start to blister.
1. In a hot skillet, cook the ground turkey, add the Brussels sprouts, charred corn, cherry tomatoes and the parmesan broth and bring to a simmering ragu.
2. Add gnocchi to the ragu in skillet, add butter and Parmesan cheese and season to taste. Serve in a bowl and enjoy.