Spaetzle is a small, soft egg noodle commonly found in Austrian and German cuisines. To make it, a thick batter is pressed through a perforated panel dropping teardrop noodles into boiling water. In this recipe, Eduard Frauneder of Freud in NYC, treats spaetzle like a springtime mac and cheese, tossing the cooked noodles with Gruyère, asparagus, fresh peas and tons of herbs. It's the perfect balance of richness and brightness.
If you don't have a spaetzle maker, you can use a colander with large holes, pressing with a rubber spatula to drop the batter into the water. However, we highly recommend you invest in one for this dish and all your future spaetzle endeavors. It makes dropping the batter into the water quick and seamless.
To learn more, read "Freudian Trip."
Rye Spaetzle with Asparagus and Gruyère
Recipe adapted from Eduard Frauneder, Freud, New York, NY
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus cooling and resting time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus cooling and resting time
For the Spaetzle:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup rye flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, whole milk
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
For the Rye Crumble:
4 slices (2 ounces) rye bread
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1 teaspoon rosemary, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
For the Dandelion Green Salad:
1 cup (2 ounces) dandelion greens, roughly torn
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
½ bunch (8 ounces) pencil asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup fresh peas
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and grated nutmeg, to taste
1. Make the spaetzle: In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Whisk in the eggs until incorporated, then slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly, until a smooth batter comes together. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, make the rye crumble: Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread out the rye bread on a baking sheet and bake, flipping once, until dry, 5 minutes per side. Let cool completely, then transfer to a food processor with the remaining rye crumble ingredients. Pulse into coarse bread crumbs and set aside.
3. Make the dandelion salad: In a medium bowl, toss the dandelion greens with the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season with salt. Using a spaetzle maker, press the batter through the holes into the water. Cook until the spaetzle float and are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the hot spaetzle with the crème fraîche to coat.
5. Assemble the dish: In a 12-inch skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until tender and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the reserved spaetzle and cooking liquid, along with the grated cheese and peas. Cook, tossing constantly, until a thick sauce coats the spaetzle, 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chives, parsley and lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Divide between plates and top each with dressed dandelion greens and rye crumble, then serve.
*This article was originally published on 04/10/2016 by Tasting Table editors. The restaurant, chef and/or recipe are in no way affiliated with or endorsing the featured sponsor.