garlic scapes 2015

Gnocchi with Fresh Pesto | Romaine Salad

Although pesto made with fresh basil often gets the most play in the height of summer, there are many different types of pesto that will showcase what’s fresh from the gardens and markets right now. This dinner lends itself to customization, both in terms of ingredients and in terms of hands-on preparation. Make the gnocchi or don’t; make the pesto or don’t. It all depends on how much time you have and your access to farm-fresh ingredients.

Love to Cook: Gnocchi is really much easier to make than most people think. Mario Batali’s gnocchi recipe is both easy to follow and very dependable. For a twist on traditional basil pesto, try pesto made from fresh garlic scapes. For the salad, buy the freshest lettuce you can find and dress with a simple lemon juice/olive oil/salt combination.

Weeknight Reality: Even though making gnocchi is relatively easy, it does take time. There are both frozen and shelf-stable gnocchi options that are pretty tasty, especially when topped with something fresh as suggested in this Emeril recipe. Again, a simple salad dressed with lemon juice/olive oil/salt is all you need – something that won’t compete with the flavors of the pesto.

Need a Miracle: Store-bought gnocchi, pesto, lettuce and dressing (Brianna’s French Vinaigrette is always a good one).

Prompt Recap: February 22, 2015

Missed a day or looking for help in planning your week ahead? Here’s a recap of last week’s dinner prompts, including recipe links:

Cowboy: something feisty that brings out your fighting spirit



Tossed: a jumble of flavors & textures that work well together

market cart


Pesto: something with a rich herb paste accompaniment

basil 2014


Celery: something green, earthy and grounding, with a promise of spring to come

True Vine celery


Fire: something with lingering warmth



Surf: something that helps you ride the waves of winter

oysters on the halfshell june 2014-Edit


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Something with a rich herb paste accompaniment

basil 2014

Food Ideas

  • Love to cook: Steak with pesto and winter vegetable salad
  • Weeknight reality: Udon noodles with cilantro/scallion pesto
  • Need a miracle: Store-bought gnocchi with store-bought basil pesto

Recipe Links

Parting Thought

GEORGE: “Everybody likes pesto. You walk into a restaurant, that’s all you hear – pesto, pesto, pesto.”

Seinfeld “The Busboy,” original air date June 26, 1991