Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon

It is my firm belief that many spring foods need to be just as hearty and filling as winter fare, at least for those of us with gardens to plant.

From turning the compost to prepping the ground for planting, hauling soil and rocks and clearing brambles, an afternoon of work on our homestead can leave me utterly famished. It’s on those days when a meal featuring bacon, gnocci and sour cream makes complete sense. I love my spring salads and soups, I DO, but I won’t say no to refuelling with fully loaded bowl of carbs.

Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon

We’re still a few weeks away from finishing our big spring push to get things both cleaned up and planted. Our Sunday was spent tucking zucchini seedlings into little hills, burying dried peas deep in the soil, clearing and burning the windfall that collects over the winter months, and much more.

It’s rewarding work, but oh so physical. I have more gnocci and a slab of bacon in the freezer for another rich spring meal, and that’s going to save us some evening in the near future, no doubt about it.

Sour Cream and Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale

Today’s recipe for Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon is a result of my Ukrainian half craving the flavours and textures of perogies (pierogi) but without any of the work. After a long day of gardening, a shortcut in the kitchen is a welcome relief, and that’s where a package of frozen gnocci from my local Italian grocer comes into play.

Surprisingly, delicate potato gnocci make an exceedingly agreeable substitute to homemade perogies, especially paired with crispy bacon and loads of sour cream. A generous helping of ramps replaces the traditional onion topping, and a quick sauté of kale brings a little balance to a rich dish.

And if you’re not a hungry gardener like me, this bowl of spring comfort food is a suitable way to drown your sorrows after the embarrassing loss of your hometown hockey team. Sheesh.

Sour Cream & Ramp Gnocchi with Sautéed Kale and Crispy Bacon
5.0 from 1 reviews
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Recipe type: Dinner
Author:
Serves/Yield: 4
A bowl of stick-to-your-ribs spring fare that is reminiscent of all-dressed perogies. Good fuel for longs days of gardening or comfort food for when your hockey team loses the game.
Ingredients
  • 125 grams slab bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups torn kale
  • 6-8 whole ramps
  • 500 grams gnocci
  • sour cream to garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a a boil. Salt it generously (2-3 teaspoons) as it will help season the gnocci.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and tip the bacon into the pan. Cook, stirring often, until it is golden and crispy. Drain off excess fat and reserve for another use, but leave about 1 tablespoon in the pan.
  3. Add the gnocci to the boiling water and cook according to package directions (usually about 5-7 minutes, from frozen).
  4. Meanwhile, chop the white ends of the ramps and add them to the bacon. Add the kale and sauté quickly for about a minute.
  5. Drain the ramps and add them to the pan with the bacon and kale. Toss gently to coat them in a little bacon fat.
  6. Tip the gnocci and accompaniments into a serving bowl. Top generously with sour cream and fresh black pepper.
  7. Lastly, finely chop the greens of the ramps and sprinkle them on top. Serve at once.
Notes
Depending on how salty the bacon is and how thoroughly you salt your gnocci boiling water, you may need a sprinkling of additional salt on the finished dish. It makes a world of difference.
Green onions may be substituted for the ramps in this recipe.

More ramps recipes:

I’ve always been about balance when it comes to food. Which is why last year I posted a healthy spring soup, and today I’m sharing a rich recipe. Both feature ramps, a fleeting seasonal ingredient, but that is where all similarities end!

You could serve my Spring Ramp, Radish & Spinach Soup as an appetizer for a weekend dinner party, and then round out the meal with today’s gnocci. That’s balance to me.

Here are a few more recipes featuring the delicious wild leek, should you be so fortunate as to get your hands on a bunch.

Eat Seasonal

New May-Seasonal-Recipes

It’s May! And seasonal produce is getting very exciting. We’ve cooked up another batch of recipes for your enjoyment. I hope you’re inspired.

What are you eating that is local and seasonal this week?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Ciao Aimee! I am so glad for the ramp recipes. Last year I planted ramps and they came up this year but I didn’t pick any — I wanted them to spread. I’m hoping to have enough next spring to make several recipes. I am pinning your recipes as reference. We live in the Midwest and lots of people have never heard of ramps. I have never tasted them but I’m looking forward to enjoying them next spring. Thank you for sharing!!

    • I’m embarrassed to say that I just discovered ramp 2 weeks ago! And now I too am actively seeking ramp recipes (to ramp up my cooking, ya know? ok, sorry about the very bad joke!!) And yes, I am a hungry gardener too, this recipe looks quick, easy and filling =)

  2. This is such a beautiful and comforting bowl. I just can’t get enough ramps right now. I have been putting them in everything and I think I’m going to pickle some too! They are one of my favorite spring veggies!

  3. We did a lot of yard work this weekend (back-breaking, I tell you!) and couldn’t agree more that a good, hearty meal is needed afterwards. This gnocchi would be just the thing!

  4. Aimée,
    I’ve not found ramps around here, but my friend up in Cleveland got some and will share one so I can get my ramp stand started. Robert Barker (our new-to-us Basset) considers our edible backyard his edible backyard, so my spouse spent the weekend replacing the short fencing that worked with the other 2 dogs with my Robert Barker-proof fence. I suspect the hostas will recover, and that means that’s there’s a space to start my ramp patch.

    (It also means that all of the tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, strawberries and herbs I planted this weekend were accomplished by leaning over the 2 foot fence, which is why my big local food consisted of grilled the last butternut squash from the 2014 Strategic Winter Squash Reserve and making a pasta dish with it. I ate some chickweed that grew between the patio bricks–how’s that for seasonal?)

    • Oh noooooo. What an unforeseen disaster. Here’s hoping everything gets back to normal soon. At least it’s still early in the season….

  5. Michelle S says:

    I prefer to drown my hockey sorrows in a pint of ice cream, but I may have to give this a try! It looks delicious! Go Habs!

  6. This sounds so good! It makes me wish there were ever any ramps available in California. I guess I will have to give it a try with some green onion or garlic instead!

  7. Yum, I don’t have a garden but should go for a big run so I could eat this one. When you guys are through planting you should try making fresh gnocchi with the kids, they are perfect ages for helping since it’s simple but time consuming and takes lots of hands! I only make it if I have a friend coming to help since my kids are both two and under!

  8. I’ve never tried or ever seen ramps but you have me wanting to find some. I wonder if they are hard to grow…

  9. You’re really making me want to get my hands a little dirty in my back yard. I have been putting it off but if I can have a meal like this afterwards then maybe I’ll be a little more motivated 🙂

  10. I’ve had a hard time finding ramps in our desert mountain area, but I’m planting tomatoes in my garden tonight! I don’t know how I’m going to wait for summer’s bounty.

  11. No gnocchi on hand tonight, but this meal looks delicious and it’s inspiring our dinner just the same. I’d love to try to make gnocchi sometime with my kids. Do you have any tips for homemade gnocchi?

    As far as what we are eating that is local, the closest thing would be all the eggs our chickens are laying. 😉 Hard to beat fresh backyard eggs!

  12. Shelly Patterson says:

    I just found your blog from the Pioneer Woman 🙂 and the first recipe I see has ramps in it! I have not heard or seen anyone cooking with ramps since I was a kid living in West Virginia and my dad and his best friend would fry potatoes with ramps before a hunting trip or when we were camping! I am pretty sure they don’t have them in Tucson though! 🙂 So glad to have found you!

  13. Hey I love your food blog! Check out mine and let’s connect?

    swedishcavegirl.blogspot.com

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