Towards the end of winter, I start yearning for greens. I start to tire of potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables and want something fresh and vibrant on my plate. Although winter isn’t completely devoid of greens, I eat my fair amount of kale and bitter greens such endive and radicchio, I still miss the clean and fresh taste of Spring. Once wild garlic (or ramps) start making an appearance, I get excited about the new season and new flavors on my table.
A few years ago, a friend invited another friend and me over for dinner and served us wild garlic Spätzle. They were delicious and none of us could stop eating them. Since then, I’ve made these Spätzle every year at the onset of Spring. Wild garlic appears at a time when it’s still chilly out so these Spätzle, which I consider to be more of a cold weather food, really hit the spot when the evenings are still cold but the days begin to warm up.
Remember when foraging your own wild garlic: only pinch off the leaves and leave the bulb in the ground so they may grow back the following year!
Wild Garlic Spätzle
- 400 g flour
- 4 eggs
- 0.75-125 ml milk or water
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 bunch of wild garlic, finely chopped
- flakes of butter
- grated cheese
Whisk the flour, eggs and milk or water and salt in a bowl. Depending on the size of the eggs, you’ll need more or less liquid. Begin with the smaller amount and work your way up. The dough should by thick but still run off a spoon. If the consistency is like a cake batter, add more liquid, if it’s like pancake batter, add more flour. Add the chopped wild garlic and stir.
Heat a pot of water until boiling and then turn down to a simmer. Using a Spätzle maker set over the boiling water, ladle some of the batter in the the opening and then scrape it back and forth until there is no more batter remaining. Remove the maker. As soon and the Spätzle are done cooking, then will float to the top of the pot. Remove them using a slotted spoon and place in a casserole. Add a bit of butter so they don’t stick together. If you don’t have a Spätzle maker, you could use a colander with large holes. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the batter through the holes.
Once all batter has been used up either serve the Spätzle plain as a side or top with plenty of grated cheese and set the casserole under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese has melted. Serve with a green salad.