Has that happened to you? You have bought this gigantic container of baby spinach leaves or arugula for that one fancy salad or as a garnish for a meal you made for your friends on the weekend. And now it’s the middle of the week, the half empty plastic receptacles clutter your fridge, and you just cannot have another one of these salads.
And throwing perfectly good food away is just out of the question; maybe because you’re on the Druid path, or otherwise tuned in. So what to do?
Well, one way of processing these leftovers is to work them into some nouvelle cuisine Spätzle. Because typically, you have all the ingredients for that at home.
Spätzle (basic recipe)
2 cups of flour
1 cup of milk
Arugula, spinach leaves, or leek (1-2 handful)
1-2 cups parmesan (or other) cheese
2 to 3 slices of bacon (optional)
Butter (if not using bacon)
1/8 Tsp dried stock (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
|For the Spätzle, put a large pot with water on the stove and bring to a bowl.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, milk and salt. Add flour, the leftover leafy ingredients, and the cheese and mix with a cooking spoon until you have a thick, sticky batter.
While waiting for the water to boil, cut the bacon into small cubes and heat up slowly in a small, deep skillet. Fry until slightly crisp. For the vegetarian version, heat up butter until foaming. Add chopped garlic and stir. When the garlic turns light brown, add light cream (about a cup) and heat up (watch to avoid overboiling). Once the sauce is hot, add the dried stock and stir until solved. Let the sauce simmer on low heat to reduce.
When the water for the Spätzle is at a roaring boil, add salt. Take a small wooden cutting board, dunk it into the boiling water, dunk a big spoon into the boiling water, and slap some of the sticky batter on the wet board. (The water on the tools helps avoid having the batter stick to them, so do that frequently).
Hold the board on the edge of the pot, and, with a straight knife or any tool with a straight edge (be sure to use one that doesn’t get hot, or has a handle), flatten the batter on the board, cut pieces off and slide them into the pot. After you have processed a load of batter (two big spoons full), let the water come to a boil again and wait until all Spätzle swim on the surface. See video below.
Take the Spätzle out with a spoon with holes and set aside in a container. Repeat until all batter is processed.
In a heavy skillet, preferably a cast iron one, heat up some butter and brown the Spätzle. Serve hot with sauce poured over them.
Salad greens, maybe with tomatoes, radishes, and cucumber freshen up the meal.
The writer is also the author of the book “Mountain Magic – Celtic Shamanism in the Austrian Alps” on how to weave Alpine lore and customs into your own spiritual practice.