Warm balmy evenings signal the start of lighter eating which means that it’s well and truly time for salads and making the most of fresh seasonal produce. I love the combination of all these fresh green vegetables – really you can use whatever is at hand: broad beans, snow peas, baby spinach leaves. The addition of the gnocchi turns this salad into a very sustaining and satisfying meal.
Fresh spring vegetable salad with gnocchi
½ cup frozen peas
handful sugar snap peas, halved lengthways
1 zucchini, halved, then cut into wedges
I bunch baby asparagus
handful snow pea sprouts
1 small shallot, roughly chopped
15g mint leaves, picked
15g basil leaves, picked
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
zest of ½ lemon
juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp whole grain mustard
1 tbsp pinenuts or pistachios
Put all the ingredients into a small blender and blitz until smooth.
Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Add a bit of water if the dressing is too thick.
Cook gnocchi as per instructions then drain and refresh under cold water.*
Bring a pot of water to boil, add 1tsp salt then add the zucchini. After 30 seconds add the asparagus. 30 seconds later, add the sugar snap peas. Cook for a further 30 seconds then throw in the frozen peas. Drain immediately and refresh with cold water.
Place gnocchi with all the greens into a bowl and pour over the dressing. Toss well to coat all over. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Divide onto 2 plates and sprinkle with the pinenuts or pistachios.
*Generally all you need to do is bring a pot of salted water to boil and throw in the gnocchi. Once the gnocchi rises to the top of the pot cook it for a further 30-40 seconds and then it’s ready.