Spring is in the air here in North Carolina! As I discussed in a recent post, the semester ended the first week of May, and I am loving this season of life…for the most part! While I and other college and graduate students may think it’s summertime, the current weather forecast has reminded us that summer is not due for another few weeks. The only time I appreciate rain is at night when I’m trying to fall asleep (I sleep terribly, and rain seems to help me relax), so this week full of showers has not been my favorite. I have slept more soundly, though, which caused me to leave my house on Saturday morning to go to the local farmers’ market, an uncharacteristic activity if you know me.
I should really write a post about how much I love my home of the last five years (anyone interested?). For those of y’all who aren’t familiar with Carrboro, it is a town located directly west of Chapel Hill, and it boasts a vibrant farmers’ market every Wednesday and Saturday. Check it out here. Of course, mother nature decides to bless our little town with a heavy rain shower on the day I decide to go to the morning market on Saturday instead of the afternoon market on Wednesday. I was happy to see that the weather did not deter loyal patrons, and even though I am not a morning person, I loved starting my day by browsing the seasonal fruits, vegetables, and plants. Everything looked incredibly fresh, and the natural colors of the produce presented a brilliant contrast to the bleak weather. I picked up a gorgeous assortment of veggies that inspired the recipe I’m going to share with y’all today.
When I was younger, I never liked vegetables, but now I love them almost as much as I love desserts…which is saying something. Aren’t these bright beauties above a sight for sore eyes? I believe this is my first actual meal idea that I’m posting on this blog; I’ve mainly shared desserts and sides, but despite what you think, or what Instagram may lead you to believe, I actually don’t eat sweets for every meal. While baking will always be my number one, cooking is fun, too, and I especially appreciate how forgiving certain recipes like this one are.
Not only did my trip to the market get me out of my rainy morning rut, it also inspired me to devise the following recipe. If you don’t have a farmers’ market nearby, store bought vegetables really are fine…Ina jokes aside, I’m serious! If you prefer regular gnocchi to cauliflower, don’t let me stop you! Are you a vegan or vegetarian, remove the prosciutto; it’ll still taste great! Do you like the flavor of olive oil more than butter? Cool story, bro; go make it happen! Also, special shoutout to the best guy there is, the always dependable Trader Joe, for providing a majority of the components of this meal.
Spring Vegetable Gnocchi
3 tablespoons ghee, butter, or olive oil separated
One package Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi (You could also use regular gnocchi if you don’t want to be trendy, or if you don’t enjoy the subtle taste of cauliflower.)
3 cups spring vegetables (I used an assortment I picked up at my local farmers’ market: asparagus, radishes, tomatoes, and sugar snap peas), coarsely chopped
6 slices Prosciutto, coarsely chopped
Shredded cheese of choice (I used Trader Joe’s vegan mozzarella shreds, but feel free to use regular cheese if you don’t have an allergy or dietary preferences)
2 tablespoons Minced garlic
Crushed red pepper
- Place two large 9″ nonstick pans on the stove, and bring to medium heat.
- Follow the directions on the package of gnocchi, and proceed to cook it in one of the two skillets.
- I recommend adding two tablespoons of ghee to the gnocchi after it has finished the steaming phase of the cooking process, but you can use butter or olive oil as well.
- While the gnocchi is cooking, place the remaining tablespoon of ghee, butter, or oil in the other pan with garlic.
- Place the chopped veggies into this pan, and sauté.
- After the veggies have cooked for about 5 minutes, shred the prosciutto, and place it in the pan with the vegetables. Cook this until it is crispy.
- Squeeze lemon juice on vegetable-prosciutto mix.
- Place a serving of gnocchi and a cup of the vegetable-prosciutto mix in two or three bowls.
- Sprinkle cheese on top of each bowl, and serve. If you are using vegan cheese, you may need to microwave the bowl for about a minute, so the “cheese” can melt.
- Top each bowl with crushed red pepper.