It’s cold in San Francisco. Legitimately cold. I naively assumed that moving anywhere in California, regardless of location, would be warm. Granted, I knew that Northern California would not be beaches and suntans like SoCal. I heard about Karl the Fog (yes, this city has given a name to their fog, which should have tipped me off right then and there). But I wanted to believe so desperately that leaving the Polar Vortex that is Chicago for any city in California would seem like a tropical paradise. But I digress, it is November and it is in the 40’s, and I am too cheap to put the heater on, and I moved across country with exactly one blanket to my name. So as I sit in my kitchen in fuzzy socks and fingerless gloves, and I dream of San Diego and warmer days, I dug up this earthly, warm recipe in one last feeble effort to warm up until the sun rises again tomorrow.
These doughy little potato dumplings paired with hearty mushrooms and rustic walnuts make the perfect fit to warm you up right down to your core. (Pro-tip # 402: add a glass of red wine to the mix to really keep the cold weather at bay). I love this recipe because it didn’t involve any thawing. I decided last minute to make this based on ingredients I already had on hand. I used fresh mushrooms because I had them leftover from another dish, but canned mushrooms would work just as well. Just remember to rinse and drain canned vegetables to reduce the sodium content to make it a healthier option before using in a recipe. I used spinach for this recipe because, again, I had it on hand. But really, any dark leafy green will do the trick. I’ve seen similar recipes use arugula or kale, and I’m sure they taste equally awesome. Spinach is always my go-to because it is sort of a neutral “sneak-in” vegetable. I add it to eggs, pastas, sandwiches, chicken dishes… you get the picture. I always have it in my fridge, but feel free to be more adventurous and try something different! I love to hear new ideas and spins on the recipes I use.
Now on to the goods…
Walnut Mushroom Gnocchi
17.5 oz Potato Gnocchi
10 oz mushrooms (I used sliced Crimini variety)
2 cups spinach (it’ll cook down so the more the merrier, in my opinion)
5.5 oz walnuts (or really whatever size the bag is that you purchase)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 clove garlic – crushed
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter
- Gently toast walnuts in a nonstick pan over low-medium heat, stirring to prevent charring. Crush walnuts as desired – use mortal and pestle for best results. I left mine a little chunky for texture. Add parmesan, olive oil, and garlic to bowl and mix to incorporate.
- Bring water to a boil and pour in gnocchi. It’s a very quick-cooking ingredient – should take less than five minutes for the gnocchi to rise to the top of the pot and be fully cooked.
- While gnocchi is cooking, sauté mushrooms in light butter until soft and browned. Add gnocchi to pan and sauté.
- Slowly stir in walnut mixture and continue to mix until fully incorporated. Add spinach and cook down to desired wilt.
- Serve and enjoy!
This recipe is a great main entrée to serve for a guest who is Vegetarian or as a Meatless Monday option. You are still getting protein from the walnuts and mushrooms and it is hearty enough for carnivores that you don’t feel like you are missing out on something by skipping the meat. Overall, it is a real crowd-pleaser!