Spring is upon us, and I love all the fresh greens in the markets! I love the abundance of asparagus, peas, and since the past 3 years I have seen wild garlic in the market. I grew up having fresh garlic in India, and the smell is absolutely intoxicating! Mom would use the fresh green garlic to make the green mixture for undhiyoo, which is a medley of around 7 vegetables, simply mixed and cooked with a green paste, no dried spices! All the flavor in the Undhiyoo comes from the green paste, which is essentially, cilantro, green garlic, coconut, lemon, sugar and salt! It is my absolute favorite vegetable, and one that I crave a lot! We sprinkle wild garlic or green garlic on the top as a garnish! This vegetable can be eaten by itself, or with hot pooris, and it is absolutely divine. I don’t know one person who does not love this vegetable.
With that in mind, I wanted to make a very simple spring inspired pasta, that is fresh, light, airy and signifies the essence of Spring with all the greens around at the farmer’s market. My friend has a meyer lemon tree, so I got some meyer lemons from her gorgeous tree! Those lemons are so fragrant and flavorful! And the skin is a beautiful vibrant yellow! I picked up asparagus, fresh peas, sugar snap peas, and wild garlic from the farmer’s market. The meyer lemon potato ricotta gnocchi is quite flavorful, and I also added nutmeg to it for a depth of flavor. Gnocchi is not hard to make, just a little bit tedious. The dough comes together very easily. Then it is rest time. Then comes dividing the dough into 8 pieces, and rolling each portion and cutting out the gnocchis into bite size pieces, and finally shaping each one of them which is the time consuming part. The best part is that you can freeze the gnocchi to eat it later too! It stays in the freezer for upto a month.
I made a really simple butter/olive oil sauce, so that you can enjoy the vegetables to the fullest, and get the pure, unadulterated taste rather than having some sauce doused in the gnocchi. I keep the vegetables ever so slightly crunchy, by first blanching the sugar snap peas and the asparagus, and then sauteeing it in a butter/olive oil mixture, along with salt and pepper. The garnishes are the most fun after assembling the sautéed vegetables, along with the gnocchi. For the garnishes, I used pea shoots, zested meyer lemon, freshly grated parm, and finely chopped green garlic! I cannot stress enough of how wonderful this dish is on the whole!
The best compliment that I could receive is, my kids not talking at all during the 5 minutes of eating(yea they ate it so fast!), and enjoying all the fresh spring vegetables, and telling me that “Mommy, you make the best food ever, better than a restaurant!”. I know that is not true, but a little praise ain’t hurt anyone 😉 and the feeling is wonderful and so fulfilling. And that is why I do what I do, spend hours in the kitchen to provide a good, healthy, nutritious meal, made with good ingredients for my family, so that they can enjoy their meals, and not simply eat something that I would not be happy with.
It is still cooler in the bay area, but it seems it may finally be warming up. These coming months are extremely busy with home, work, and school stuff that is going on. Spring break is coming up, and my father in law will be here to spend some time with us which is always wonderful! My kids love their grandpa, and enjoy with him a lot. He does spoil them as all grandparents should I think ;). We start our bathroom renovation as well, which is going to be very interesting and fun I think! Looking forward to it! It has been 11 years since we moved into this home, but we have not done any renovations, so this will be a nice change of scenery, to see something new and fresh in our home!
I have been a bit slow on the blogging front, mainly because life has gotten very busy with the kids and their daily activities and it is indeed hard to keep up! Hope you all are having a wonderful month of April.
Have a blessed week!