Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach Salad

A Second Helping of Salad~

Ok, ok, OK, ok, okay, OKAY! So this isn’t the lightest salad to start off the New Year. I admit it! BUT it IS the salad that will have everyone asking for seconds and thirds. A double helping of greens, people, doesn’t that count for something?

My kids will eat just about anything–a fact that would make any kitchen-crazed mamma brim with pride! It took a bit of work through the toddler years, but we have arrived at “palette maturity” at the weathered ages of 5 1/2 and 8. Raw oysters? Yes. Sushi? Yes. Spicy foods? Absolutely. Ripe stinky cheeses? You bet. Veggies of all shapes and sizes…

These two will try whatever I put in front of them, and usually enjoy it. But ask for seconds on salad? Never. That is, until greens started mingling with gnocchi.  Oh how the tides have turned!

If you’ve been reading ASP for a while, you may remember that my husband has a habit of inviting people over for dinner on short notice. What’s even better, sometimes it’s only short notice for ME! He may have phoned our friends a week earlier, but simply forgot to tell me until 5 pm the day of!  (I know what you’re thinking, but he’s still a keeper.) To make amends, he offers to run to the store or help in the kitchen–whatever it takes.

One of these particular evenings, I was scrounging the pantry to come up with a suitable meal for first-time guests, when I found a package of pre-made gnocchi. Inspiration hit! We made this hearty salad to serve as a first-course, in order to buy more cooking time for the rest of the meal!

After that no other salad has quite stacked up. Ask my kids, they’ll tell you…


Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach Salad


1 lb. packaged gnocchi
5-6 oz. baby spinach leaves
4 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
¾ cup walnut pieces
juice of 1 lemon
¼+ tsp. nutmeg
2 Tb. Honey
½ cup dried cherries (optional)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sizzle until red and crispy.

Add the shallots to the bacon and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Then add the walnuts and nutmeg.

Meanwhile drop the gnocchi into the boiling water. Cook until all the gnocchi are floating~3-4 minutes. Once the gnocchi is ready, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the skillet.

Add the cherries and stir. Finally add the lemon juice, honey and 2-3 Tb. of pasta water. Salt and pepper to taste.

Place the spinach in a large bowl. Pour the hot gnocchi mixture over the spinach and toss. Serve immediately!

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59 Responses to “Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach Salad”

  1. #
    Marisa — January 9, 2011 @ 2:24 am

    This is so so smart. I love gnocchi and the photos of it comingling with salad greens and dressing make me wish I had this for dinner. I've got to try it out. Thank you!


  2. #
    Ellie (Almost Bourdain) — January 9, 2011 @ 4:39 am

    I would go for 3rd and 4th…. It looks so good!


  3. #
    A Little Yumminess — January 9, 2011 @ 5:40 am

    Gosh, I am super impressed by your kids and what they will eat. Even I am iffy about oysters. Good for you. Hopefully, we will follow in your footsteps. :). Salad looks awesome!


  4. #
    Magic of Spice — January 10, 2011 @ 1:55 am

    Now that is quite a salad…with the bacon here I could maybe get my kids to go spinach salad crazy like I am :)


  5. #
    The Mom Chef — January 10, 2011 @ 3:05 am

    Wow. Putting this salad together on such short notice was pure inspiration. Of COURSE everything's better with bacon, but that still leaves a lot of wiggle room. This looks amazing.

    Kudos to your children for their open culinary minds. It will serve them so well as they grow. Keeping my fingers crossed that the door to Dudette's mind will open a bit more in that way.


  6. #
    Tasty Eats At Home — January 10, 2011 @ 8:31 pm

    This looks amazing. I can imagine your kids enjoying it too!


  7. #
    certificate of incorporation — January 19, 2011 @ 2:29 am

    This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I enjoy seeing websites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I truly loved reading your post. Thanks!


  8. #
    BestRecipe — January 20, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

    up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!


  9. #
    Magdalena — January 28, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

    Great salad….Congratulations.. however, here it is still a bit cold, the “artificial” baby spinach is really not good….I am . however, thinking of all those summer salads enjoying at the same time simple hearty soups…

    kind regards



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