Pan Fried Gnocchi with Scottish Asparagus and Wild Garlic Pesto

Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Capture the seasonal flavours of Spring in a vegetarian supper dish which combines wild garlic and asparagus. Pan frying Gnocchi turns the Italian potato dumplings into oh so moreish and delicious crispy bites with fluffy centres.



Whilst the wild garlic season is drawing to a close, the asparagus season is only just beginning! As a huge fan of both ingredients I'm really quite disappointed in myself for taking so long to combine them in a recipe, but that is about to be rectified. Say hello to the green deliciousness that is Pan Fried Gnocchi with Scottish Asparagus and Wild Garlic Pesto.


A sure sign of spring is the appearance in the shops of British Asparagus. The official season is from April 23rd (St George's Day) to June 21st but you may find it earlier of later. As for wild garlic it's appearance is again variable dependent on location. It really is one of the most easily identifiable and unmistakable foragable foods. Take a look at the Galloway Wild Foods website for identification and distribution information if you are unsure. This recipe will make a larger quantity of pesto than you need for the gnocchi. Store the remainder in a jar in the fridge or freeze in individual ice cube portions. Great stirred through pasta for a quick meal, served on top of lamb chops, steak or fish or mix some into a soup, risotto or mashed potatoes for a fresh garlicky kick.

Locally to me in Aberdeenshire and Angus I've come across three asparagus growers. There may well be more so please do tell me about them!
Barra Asparagus (which should OBVIOUSLY be renamed Asbarragus)
Myreside Farms, Lunan Bay, Angus
Charleton Farm, Montrose - both white and green




Pan Fried Gnocchi with Scottish Asparagus and Wild Garlic Pesto

250g Asparagus
500g Gnocchi
Splash of Scottish Rapeseed Oil
3 Tbsp Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto
100g Wild Garlic
75g Pine Nuts - toasted
75g Parmesan Cheese (or vegetarian alternative) - grated
150ml Scottish Rapeseed Oil
Salt & Pepper


First make your Wild Garlic Pesto...

Wash and pat dry the wild garlic leaves, toast the pine nuts in a dry non stick pan and grate the Parmesan. Place everything in a food processor or blender and blitz until it reaches the desired consistency. The quantities given are merely as a guide, feel free to adjust them according to taste.
(This recipe will make a larger quantity of pesto than you need for the Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels. Store the remainder in a jar in the fridge or freeze in individual ice cube portions)

Wash the asparagus and pat dry with a paper towel and break off any woody ends. Pre-heat a large griddle pan, drizzle the asparagus with some rapeseed oil. Cook for 6-8 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are - the thicker ones will take slightly longer. 

Meanwhile heat a splash or rapeseed oil in a large frying pan, add the gnocchi and fry on a medium heat until the gnocchi are crispy and golden in colour. You may need to add some more oil as it cooks.

Once the asparagus is cooked, cut into bite sized pieces and stir through the pan fried gnocchi along with the wild garlic pesto. 

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