Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Fennel-Raisin Gnocchi, Wilted Watercress, California Raisin Caponata and Syrah Butter

Submitted by: John Geschrei

California Raisin caponata and fennel gnocchi transform beef tenderloin.



    Raisin Caponata

    • 1/4 cup California golden raisins
    • 1/4 cup dry red wine
    • 1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
    • 1 small red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • Salt and pepper; to taste
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
    • 1 Roma tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
    • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons shredded basil
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
    • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper; to taste

    Fennel-Raisin Gnocchi

    • 1 medium-size bulb fennel, trimmed and cut into quarters
    • 1 shallot, peeled and cut into quarters
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup California golden raisins
    • water
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • Salt and pepper; to taste

    Syrah Butter Sauce

    • 1 cup Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
    • 2 teaspoons minced shallots
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • Salt and pepper; to taste


    • 1 whole beef tenderloin (about 2 pounds), trimmed and cleaned
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
    • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper; to taste
    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 2 bunches fresh watercress, stems removed
    • Salt and pepper; to taste


    Raisin Caponata

    For best results, prepare at least one day before serving. Preheat oven to 375°F.

    Measure raisins and red wine into nonreactive saucepan; heat to simmer and cook for 3 minutes until raisins are plump. Cool. Arrange eggplant and onion in shallow roasting pan. Brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper; to taste. Roast at 375°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.

    In mixing bowl, combine capers, tomato and olives with raisin mixture; mix well. Cut eggplant and red onion into 1/4-inch dice and add to bowl along with balsamic vinegar, basil and parsley. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Store in refrigerator, covered, overnight to allow flavors to meld.

    Fennel-Raisin Gnocchi

    For best results, prepare gnocchi several hours or a day ahead. Preheat oven to 375°F. In shallow baking pan, toss fennel and shallot with olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven at 375°F for 20 minutes or until tender. Cool. Measure raisins into 1-quart nonreactive saucepan and add enough water to cover. Heat to simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes until raisins are plump; drain well and reserve. In food processor, purée fennel and shallot until smooth. Turn into mixing bowl; gently stir in raisins, beaten egg and 1 teaspoon salt. Add flour and mix thoroughly, adding 1 tablespoon flour if mixture is too wet. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, one portion at a time, roll into a rope about 3/4-inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces; spread on lightly floured baking sheet and refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap for up to 12 hours.

    Syrah Butter Sauce

    In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine Syrah, shallot and thyme. Over medium heat, simmer until reduced by two thirds. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.


    Preheat oven to 450°F.

    Arrange beef tenderloin in shallow roasting pan; rub entire surface with olive oil and then with thyme, rosemary, garlic and shallot. Season well with salt and pepper. Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes; reduce temperature to 375°F and roast about 10 minutes more to medium rare (160°F). Remove from oven; cover and set aside for 20 minutes before slicing.

    Meanwhile, drop gnocchi into lightly salted, simmering water. Cook until gnocchi float to top, about 3 minutes; remove and keep warm. Then, add 2 tablespoons of butter to sautépan and heat on medium until butter foams. Quickly, add watercress and sauté until wilted; season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm. In another pan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat and sauté gnocchi until lightly crisp and heated through; reserve and keep warm.

    To serve, divide and arrange watercress in center of each of 6 plates. Spoon gnocchi on top. Slice beef; divide and arrange slices on top of gnocchi on each plate. Heat Raisin Caponata and spoon onto sliced beef for garnish. Drizzle Syrah Butter Sauce on inside rim of each plate.

    Nutrition Facts Per Serving

    Calories 1040 (68% from fat); Total Fat 79g (sat 30g, mono 38g, poly 4g, trans 2g ); Cholesterol 230mg; Protein 34g; Carbohydrate 41g; (Dietary Fiber 6g; Sugars 15g; ); Iron 6mg; Sodium 1480mg; Calcium 95mg; Potassium 1129mg

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