I wanted to create a dish that showcased the flavor of the bacon without being excessively heavy. The fresh arugula and airy gnocchi help to keep the dish light, while still feeling indulgent and satisfying.
Bacon and Arugula Salad with Parisian Gnocchi
- 2 ounces butter
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 12 slices of bacon
- 8 cups arugula, loosely packed
- 16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh
Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil add the flour all at once. Reduce the heat to medium high and stir vigorously for approximately three minutes until the dough is steaming.
Transfer the hot dough to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and turn on to medium low. Add the herbs, salt, and mustard, and mix until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, letting each one fully incorporate before adding the next. Once all the eggs are added, increase speed to medium for about 20-30 seconds.
Transfer the dough to a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch tip, or into a large plastic baggy with a 1/2 hole snipped from the corner. Let rest for 15-20 minutes.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Holding the piping bag above the water, use a paring knife to cut one inch lengths of dough, letting them fall into the water. Work quickly, cooking batches of many as you're able to cut in about a minute. Once you've finished cutting a batch let them simmer for approximately three minutes -- they should float to the surface of the water -- the remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a parchment lines baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough has been cooked.
Set the gnocchi aside and let them cool to room temperature. While they're cooling, heat a pan over medium high heat and add the bacon. Cook until brown and just starting to crisp. Strain the bacon leaving the fat behind.
When the gnocchi have reached room temperature, fry the over high heat in the skillet containing the bacon fat. Work in batches if necessary and stir constantly to avoid sticking. Cook until they've puffed up, browned and become lightly crispy -- about one minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the arugula. Toss quickly to disperse the gnocchi and very lightly wilt the greens then immediately transfer to a large bowl.
Finish and Serve
Add the Parmesan, tomatoes, parsley, and bacon, and then drizzle with lemon juice. Toss well, and divide into four serving dishes. Serve and enjoy.