Although in Germany, spaetzle is usually served as a side dish alongside roasted meats, these easy-to-make dumplings are also great tossed with sautéed shredded brussels sprouts, chopped apple and nutty aged cheese for a soul-satisfying vegetarian supper. Here we’ve given instructions for using a squeeze bottle for forming the spaetzle—a cleaned ketchup or mustard bottle will work fine—although if you own a spaetzle maker, by all means use it.
Spaetzle with Cabbage, Apple and Alpine Cheese
For the spaetzle batter:
6 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./90 ml) milk
2 Tbs. finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, flat-leaf parsley or chives
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) shallots, thinly sliced
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
4 cups (12 oz./375 g) chopped savoy or green cabbage
1 Braeburn apple, peeled if desired, quartered, cored and sliced
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded aged cow’s milk cheese, such as Comté, Gruyère, or raclette
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the spaetzle batter, in a bowl with a spout, whisk together the eggs, milk, mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Stir in the flour until the mixture is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Pour the batter into a plastic squeeze bottle with a 1/4 inch (6-cm) hole in the tip.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Hold the squeeze bottle in one hand over the water and squeeze out about a quarter of the batter in a slow, steady stream while snipping it into 1/4-inch (6-mm) lengths with clean kitchen scissors as it comes out of the bottle. Stir and cook until the dumplings float to the surface, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, lift the dumplings out of the water and transfer them to a large serving bowl with 2 Tbs. of the butter; cover and keep in a warm place. Repeat with the remaining batter.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and the remaining 1 Tbs. butter. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté for 20 seconds. Stir in the cabbage, apple and thyme, and sauté until just tender and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook, scraping up the browned bits on the pan bottom, about 30 seconds. Tip the contents of the pan into the dish with the spaetzle. Stir in the cheese and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Find more simple, healthy meals for every night of the week in
our book Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning.