Gnocchi with Spinach, Feta & Walnuts

Today was a great day for cooking. I had one activity on my calendar — my weekly Body Movement training session — and the rest of the time was available for culinary adventures.

It was my turn to make dinner. I wrestled the previous night with what to make, since pasta and rice dishes were off the list, according to my wife. Finally, I asked the ingredients question — what do we have that we need to use, and do we have other foods that are well-matched? That was the breakthrough, at about 4 AM. The key ingredients were a 1 lb. package of fresh spinach that we had for several days, to be paired with Feta cheese, which we had in abundance.

After searching the web, as well as my own master file of recipes, I chose a Greek dish from Diane Kochilas —

With that issued settled and planned for quick assembly in the late afternoon, I went on to freelance with some other foods that interested me. There were 3.

  • a Peasant Bread Sandwich loaf — a variation of Ali Stafford’s popular Peasant Bread
  • Sweet Onions with Curry and Parsley Coulis — a dish by Alain Passard from Food & Wine, July, 2001.
  • Marinated Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes

I decided to make the bread in the morning and to prepare the other two to accompany Gnocchi in the afternoon.

The bread went smoothly, taking only 4.5 hours elapsed time from start to finish. The dough rose nicely in the Utility Room, near the furnace, and ideal warm environment. I put the loaf pan in the oven at 1:00 PM, so I had to ask my wife to take it out of the oven when ready, since I was still working on my body mobility, balance, and strength. The fresh bread was very handy for part of our lunch.

Next item to pull together was the Coulis. After a quick trip to our greengrocer for Peruvian sweet onions and more parsley, I was ready to cook.

For the gnocchi dish, the spinach preparation required several washings and careful removal of dead leaves and thick stems. That was the most time-consuming and fidgety part of the whole process, but it was well worth the trouble. I had enough frozen gnocchi from a meal a few months ago, so I did not have to open a new package. To my amazement, I did find the pink peppercorns in one of my spice drawers, so I did not have to cut any corners to deliver an authentic version of the recipe.

The last step was almost trivial, slicing the tomatoes, arranging them on two plates, and adding seasonings to mine (my wife likes them unadorned).

The final event was colorful and delicious, accompanied gracefully by a natural Spanish orange wine, made with the Garnatxa Blanca grape.

This entry was posted in Food, Greek food, Vegetarian, Wine. Bookmark the permalink.

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