Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Recipe: Gnocchi Salad with Feta-Garlic Dressing

It's definitely a bare bones time in PGEW land. Since I no longer qualify for food stamp assistance because of the temp job, I don't have the food cushion I was able to fall back on the past couple of months. And I'm still trying to catch up on rent and other bills from December's pneumonia and last month's bronchitis (the life of a temp is hard if you're sick: no sick time to cover days lost and no health insurance)! Needless to say, I'm glad I stocked up on a lot of my bare bones essentials now that I'm out of "fun" ingredients, because the next few weeks are going to be extremely tight.

But there's no need to start panicking! You all know I'm a resourceful gal and I know I can do wonders with what I have left until my next shopping trip. Today I came across a package of gnocchi I'd forgotten I had, but much to my chagrin, I had already finished the last of my heirloom tomato mix so my favorite garlicky-tomatoey gnocchi dish was not gonna happen. Poked around in the fridge & freezer to see how I could make the best out of this dilemma and decided to go a completely different route and use gnocchi in a salad. I'd never done this before but it seemed like a good idea, and with a few random frozen veggies and a killer creamy dressing idea, I got to work.

This dish is pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few things to note to make sure it comes out well. First, be sure not to overcook your gnocchi. I know this is a given, but sometimes one can get distracted and things get a little overdone. You want to make sure the gnocchi retains its slightly chewy texture rather than being soft & mushy for this salad, so be sure to follow the package instructions to a tee. In terms of the dressing, be sure to add your salt & pepper AFTER you mix the main ingredients together. Depending on the type of feta you use (sheep's milk v. cow; low fat v. regular), the saltiness & natural brininess of the feta will vary significantly. If you season too soon you're likely to end up with an extremely salty or an extremely bland dressing, neither of which is bueno. Lastly, be sure to add your dressing to the gnocchi when it's still warm, so it will really absorb the flavor of the dressing!

Okay, enough with the cook's notes; let's check out the recipe!

Gnocchi Salad with Feta-Garlic Dressing (makes 3 side servings; total cost per serving: $2.80)

1 18 oz. package of potato gnocchi
3/4 c small broccoli florets
3/4 c frozen green peas (thawed)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Feta-Garlic Dressing:
1/3 c finely crumbled feta
1/2 c non-fat yogurt
1/4 c non-fat milk
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
Salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients except for the salt & pepper until completely combined. Check for flavoring and adjust accordingly with salt & pepper (though you may only need the pepper). Set aside.

Cook the gnocchi according to the package instructions; drain and set aside. In a large bowl combine the gnocchi, broccoli, peas, onions and about half the dressing (you will have leftover dressing, but that's okay!). Toss together until everything is completely combined, cover and refrigerate (or set aside if you like your salads at room temperature). Serve on a bed of fresh baby spinach or on its own, garnish with extra ground black pepper and enjoy!

9 comments:

  1. This looks delicious! I love the sound of that dressing...and I have all the ingredients. I'm glad to hear things are getting slightly better. Sounds like you had a rough winter!

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  2. This looks so good! Now if I only had someone to cook it for me! ha.

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  3. Wow, I would TOTALLY make this recipe if i were a bigger fan of Gnocchi!! That recipe looks so delicious and oh so wallet-friendly too! It might be somethign i have to print out and give to my boyfriend. hahaha ;P He LOVES potato dumplings!

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  4. This looks delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

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  5. I'm definitely going to have to try this dressing. Hope you have lots of canned or dried beans and frozen spinach. I just tried beans and greens recently, and I couldn't believe what I had been missing all my life. Hang in there.

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  6. I made this last night and it was a huge hit! Even the guys gobbled it up. Since there is so much dressing leftover, you could definitely double the salad recipe. Thanks for this!

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  7. For a gal from Germany it sounds so unfair and antisocial that you don't have health insurance. This is really unimaginable here. Everyone gets doctor's treatment here especially when you are struggling. You have to pay part of you medication but only up to a certain limit and you don't have to pay anything when going to the hospital.
    Good to hear that you are keeping up the good spirits, which help us with delicious recipes.
    Alexandra

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  8. What brand is a good frozen gnocchi and where can I buy it?

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