Spring Greens & Gnocchi

The tunnel is providing some much needed super green food in the last couple of weeks. Like last year I’m using the tops of the early beetroot in salads or in place of spinach. There is also a small amount of beautiful sprouting broccoli.  Good eaten raw or steamed for just about 1 minute.

Spring Greens

My husband loves gnocchi – when I ask him what we should have for dinner it’s french onion soup in winter and gnocchi in summer (sometimes it’s just “steak”….well quite often actually). When I was getting to know gnocchi it seemed a bit of an ordeal to make but it’s quite straight forward and really worth it.  The nice thing is that it goes well with a simple sauce so once the spuds are mashed and cooled dinner doesn’t take too long.

For the gnocchi (2-3 people) I peeled & steamed:

4 medium/large floury potatoes (I used roosters)

When they were cooked I mashed them and left to cool.

Into the cooled mashed potato I added and mixed:

2 egg yolks

1oz / 30g grated parmesan

salt & black pepper

2oz plain flour

Gnocchi Basics

I rolled the potato base into long cylinders and cut off 1 inch pieces of gnocchi bits:

Gnocchi Bits

For the sauce take:

2 good handfuls fresh spinach and beet greens and place them in a frying pan with a little knob of butter and sea salt.  Cover and wilt for 1/2 a minute – stir and transfer to a bowl.  When the greens have cooled squeeze out any excess liquid and chop up roughly.

Reheat the frying pan with another knob of butter and a dash of olive oil.  Add 1 clove crushed garlic and cook for 1/2 minute over a low heat.

Now pour in 100ml cream, bring to a simmer and reduce until slightly thickened to a nice sauce consistency.  Stir in the cooked spinach.  Season with salt & black pepper as needed.  Set aside.

Creamy Spinach

By this stage you should have a large pot of water simmering to cook the gnocchi.  You can cook 1 piece of gnocchi (for consistency & seasoning) before you cut them all out – just drop into boiling water.  When it floats to the top it’s cooked.  If it falls apart you probably need some more flour in the potato mix.  Taste it and adjust seasoning as necessary.

So drop your gnocchi bits into the pot of boiling water and skim off as they rise to the top with a slotted spoon.  Transfer to the pan with the warm cream sauce and stir gently to serve.

I served mine with an extra shaving of parmesan and steamed, fresh sprouting broccoli.

Buon Appetito!


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Valerie on April 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Gnocchi sounds delicious Sarah, I’ll have to try it.We should have the greens from our allotment in about a month. Our wishes for a tunnel are still just that. Love, Valerie


  2. Posted by kate on April 7, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    oh yum!!!i didn’t know you could make gnocchi!your husband is so lucky!


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