I’m not vegetarian anymore, but I still hung on to my half-dozen Vegetarian Times magazine troupe. One particular edition from January/February 2015 features ways to eat more greens in the new year. What better way to get in some more greens than in deliciously chewy dumpling noodles!?
When my family lived in Germany, I was in elementary school and what picky-eater-kiddo wouldn’t love to dig into a hot bowl of the most delicious noodles covered in melted butter? Spätzle (pronounced SHPAYT-zlee) is so simple yet so comforting. It reminds me of when we would find solace in a small, cozy restaurant from the harsh, biting winter wind that would whip our hair and scarves in our faces. It’s often the simplest of foods that we, as emotional beings, find most nostaglic. Just handmade noodles with a bit of butter. Nothing fancy. Nothing extravagant. Nothing but the soft, simple dough that turns into a bowl of the most scrumptious and comforting food you’ve ever tasted.
Spätzle is also known as Spätzli, Spatzen and Knöpfle in different parts of Germany. Culinary historians found mentions of Spätzle as far back as 1725, and medieval knights are found in paintings with their Spätzle boards!
And of course, what is Spätzle without some chicken schnitzel?! Well, I made chicken nuggets, which are sort of like baby schitnzels, right?
And what better dipping sauce for some chickie nuggies than chik-fil-a sauce, am I right?!
watercress spaetzle with grape tomatoes
from January/February 2015 edition of Vegetarian Times
– 4 large eggs
– 2 Tbsp low-fat sour cream [or coconut cream]
– 1 ½ tsp salt
– ½ tsp ground nutmeg
– 2 cups coarsely chopped watercress tops, plus 1/4 cup chopped leaves
– 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
– 6 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided
– 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour [or gluten free flour blend]
– 2 Tbsp butter
– ½ cup finely chopped shallots
– 3 cups grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
– Blend the eggs, sour cream [or coconut cream], salt, pepper and nutmeg in a blender until combined.
– Add 2 cups of watercress tops, 1/2 cup of the broth, and 4 Tbsp of the basil. Blend until it’s pureed. Some bits of the watercress may remain.
– Pour the liquid into a large mixing bowl.
– Add the flour and whisk until it is smooth and a thick batter forms.
– Cover the batter and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
– Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
– Working in batches (it’ll probably take 4 or 5 batches) smear the batter through a large mesh strainer or cheese grater with a rubber spatula, into the boiling water.
– Boil the dumplings for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, or until they all float to the top of the water. Scoop out the dumplings with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking sheet or giant plate to dry.
– Once all the batter has been formed into dumplings, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
– Add the shallots to the melted butter and saute for ~ 1 minutes.
– Add the halved tomatoes and saute another ~ 3 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
– Add the spätzle into the pan with the remaining ½ cup of broth.
– Toss everything for ~ 2 to 3 minutes, until the broth is absorbed and the dumplings are warmed up.
– Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ watercress leaves and 2 Tbsp basil.