Last Updated on 3 years by Tim
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Because wild garlic can only be harvested from the beginning of March until the end of May, this dish is highly seasonal and a prime example of the traditional German cuisine which has always been in line with the seasons.
Asparagus, wild garlic, rhubarb, and strawberries are the stars of the springtime. In the summer, sun-riped tomatoes and zucchinis are used in light Mediterranean meals. The fall season is accompanied by apples, pumpkins, and beets. During wintertime, all kinds of cabbages, as well as parsnips and parsley roots are used in hearty stews.
No season is like the other so that there are countless dishes that can only be enjoyed during a very short time frame.
How to prepare wild garlic spaetzle
In Germany, wild garlic is easy to source. It can be purchased at all major grocery stores as well as harvested in the forest. There’s no way to preserve it besides making a wild garlic oil. So if you can’t source fresh wild garlic, I’m sorry to tell you that this dish might be out of your reach. Even though wild garlic tastes similar to regular garlic, it’s not quite the same and the two can’t be used interchangeably.
It’s easy to adjust spaetzle dough to incorporate all kinds of different flavor profiles. For wild garlic spaetzle, you simply blend the wild garlic stems and leaves together with the eggs and water. The fine puree then gets added to the flour. The same method can be applied to make some other German favorites like spinach, liver, or pumpkin spätzle. So if you can’t source wild garlic, spinach spätzle might be an option for you. The color is the same, the taste, however, is completely different.
For this spätzle dough, I use spaetzle flour, which is a coarsely milled soft wheat flour. The spaetzle flour gives the spaetzle a firmer bite. However, you can substitute any dumpling or all-purpose flour if you can’t source it.
Check out my guide on how to make spaetzle for detailed technical guidance
I wrote a detailed post on how to make spätzle. So in case you haven’t made them before feel free to check it out for some more insights on the process. In this post, I explained why you should use carbonated mineral water and beat the dough vigorously. I also gave technical insight into the three methods (scraping, spaetzle press, and spaetzle maker) to produce spaetzle.
This was one of the first recipes that have been published on my blog. I have updated it with a new picture. The old recipe picture showed spaetzle that have been made with a spaetzle press. But this time, I hand scraped them for a better look and texture. I bet you can tell the difference by comparing the two pictures below:
The consistency of the spätzle dough should resemble that of an extremely thick and sturdy pancake batter. If the consistency of the dough isn’t 100 % on point, you will still end up with perfectly edible and delicious spaetzle.
So feel free to adjust the liquid to flour ratio by eyesight. If you intend to scrape the spätzle, the dough should be thicker, whereas for the spätzle maker a thinner dough is preferable. Always trust your instinct and experience.
Wild Garlic Spaetzle (‘Bärlauchspätzle’)
- 3.5 ounces (100 g) wild garlic
- 2 eggs, size L
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) carbonated water
- 2 cups (10.6 ounces | 300 g) spaetzle flour, white soft wheat flour (German Type 405 or 550), or all-purpose flour
- salt, to taste
- In a blender, puree the wild garlic (stems and leaves) together with the eggs and water. Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and add the wild garlic puree. Beat the dough using a wooden spoon until air bubbles start to form. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, heat a large pot of water and season liberally with salt as if cooking pasta. Scrape the spaetzle dough into the boiling water using the method described in my spaetzle basics post or press your spätzle dough through your spaetzle press or use your spaetzle maker. After 1-2 minutes of cooking time, the spätzle are ready. Take them out of the cooking water and immediately cool in an ice bath. Once cool, drain them and set them aside for later use.
This looks really good. Another use for spring garlic!
Thank’s Martin! Spring garlic is also great as a soup, in stir-fries, as pesto, or mixed with cream cheese as a pasta filling. I hope you give the spätzle a try ?!
I love spatzle! But haven’t had it since my Austrian mother passed….
Thank’s for your comment. I hope your mother shared her spätzle recipes with you before passing. Making spätzle is a great tradition to keep alive.
Sadly she didn’t. She never wrote anything down…
What a pity. Well, in that case I hope my recipe on this blog comes at least close to the original.
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These look wonderful. I am going to make a trip to my local Asian supermarket to look for wild garlic. This is new to me and if we like it, I am going to try to grow it.
Thanks for your comment, Jane! The wild garlic season will start soon in Germany and I’m just as excited as you to make these spätzle again. Wild garlic has such a wonderful flavor. If you’re a big fan of garlic, I’m sure you’ll love this herb.