Written by Georgie Wishart
You sink your toes into warm, golden sand, the sun on your face, cooling beads of condensation sparkle on your skin as you approach the glistening azure sea. Sounds like paradise... right? Not to me.
For me and my malfunctioning body, summer brings prickly and sensitive skin, endless sneezes, copious sweat and a general sense of discomfort. When my friends are out enjoying summer picnics and backyard barbecues, basking in the sunshine, I am counting the days until I feel the crunch of leaves underfoot. I prefer the morning frost on the windows followed by cosy evenings wrapped in a thick blanket. Cold fingers cradling hot chocolate, pink noses, pumpkins, and the winter sun shining low over a crispy, frozen field.
But the truly best part of winter is the ability to have my oven and hobs on at any time of day, for as long as I need, without expiring from heatstroke. The warm glow of my oven is a gateway to an endless array of rich vegetable laden stews and cinnamon-dusted crumbles.
I’m not the kind of person who could honestly say their favourite food is a fresh salad or a tangy ceviche. I need golden potatoes, sticky desserts with hot custard, and whole roasted cauliflower centrepieces to feel true happiness. So you could say my winter tradition is embracing comfort food to the fullest, spending dark and cold nights in my kitchen and then eating myself into a coma in front of the TV.
Today, I want to share one of my favourite comfort food recipes with you - one that’s quick and easy to make and won’t leave you in the aforementioned food coma. Plus it’s completely plant based, so it’s good for our planet too!
Gnocchi and Spinach in a Creamy Black Garlic, Sun-dried Tomato and Pine Nut sauce Serves two and takes around 15 minutes
What you’ll need:
1 packet of gnocchi
3 large handfuls of spinach or baby spinach
10 sun dried tomatoes
50g pine nuts
3 cloves black garlic or roasted garlic
2 tbsp water
How to make: Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil.
Start by making your sauce. Put the sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, black or roasted garlic and water into a blender or food processor (I use a Nutribullet). Blend the ingredients together. If it’s very thick, you can add a little bit more water. You want to aim for the consistency of runny honey. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water. The gnocchi will be cooked when they float to the top (around 2-4 minutes).
Whilst the gnocchi are cooking, cook your spinach. The easiest way to do this is to put it in the microwave for 2 minutes until the spinach has wilted. Alternatively, you can put it in a saucepan with a small amount of water until it has wilted.
Drain the gnocchi and then add back to the saucepan along with the spinach and the sauce. Stir together and heat until the sauce has warmed up.
Have a look at some more of our recipes for your weekend cooking here!