Heavenly Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach Salad. Even the pickiest eaters will love this salad!
Ok, ok, OK, ok, okay, OKAY! So this isn’t the lightest salad to we’ve ever made. I admit it!
Yet 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 arrived at “palate maturity” at the weathered ages of 5 1/2 and 8.
Raw oysters? Yes.
Spicy foods? Absolutely.
Ripe stinky cheeses? You bet.
Veggies of all shapes and sizes… My two kids will try whatever I put in front of them, and usually enjoy it.
Yet 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 in the pantry to come up with a suitable meal for first-time guests, when I found a package of pre-made gnocchi.
We made this hearty Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach 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, this Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach Salad recipe is legit.
Gnocchi and Wilted Spinach Salad
- 1 pound packaged gnocchi
- 5-6 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup walnut pieces
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, optional
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon to the skillet 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, about 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 tablespoons of pasta water. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Pour the hot gnocchi mixture over the spinach and toss. Serve immediately!