Vegan Wild Garlic Spaetzle with Plant–Based Feta & Bacon
Finally, it’s time for wild garlic again! We had to do without the wonderful garlicky plant for almost a whole year, but now it's back and we’re hyped already and have a great new recipe for you. On the blog, you can already find classics like pasta with wild garlic pesto and spring pasta with wild garlic and lemon, but also more daring recipes like a savory wild garlic bundt cake. You can find them all here.
But where do we get wild garlic for our recipes? You can buy it in the supermarket, but let's be honest, it tastes better if you collect it yourself. And the search is not even that difficult: you usually find the plants in shady, moist and humus-rich deciduous forests. There is even a map, on which other wild garlic fans mark corresponding finding spots in Germany.
I had my first wild garlic collecting experience while on vacation in Denmark. My parents and I were on a bicycle tour when it began to smell suspiciously of garlic all at once. Immediately we came across a horde of wild garlic. Back at the cottage, we directly made a huge portion of pesto. My mother was so excited that as soon as we were back in Germany, she planted some wild garlic in our garden. That was ten years ago, and instead of turning into a small field as we had hoped, the wild garlic has stubbornly stayed put in one place and, to my mother's annoyance, has not multiplied at all. So after all, I had to go off to the supermarket – what a bummer!
Once we have wild garlic, we can start directly with the cooking. Since anyone can make spaetzle with wild garlic pesto, we try something else and add the pesto to the spaetzle batter. For this, we puree wild garlic, water and oil to a smooth paste, which we then mix with the dry ingredients. Instead of eggs, like you usually do for spaetzle, we use a little cornstarch. The dough should have about the consistency of pancake batter so it should be easily pressed through a spaetzle press.
Use the press to push the dough into the boiling water, and don’t be disappointed if you don't get the spaetzle perfectly right away. Practice makes perfect! If you don't have a spaetzle press on hand, you can also use a board and a dough card. There are numerous instructions online.
The spaetzle are then sautéed in a pan with plenty of vegan butter and shallots and served with plant-based feta, vegan bacon, and fried onions.
Vegan Wild Garlic Spaetzle with Plant-Based Feta & Bacon
For the spaetzle batter:
- 150 g (5 oz) wild garlic
- 200 ml (0.75 cups) sparkling water
- 2 tsp neutral vegetable oil
- 200 g (1.5 cups) wheat flour (type 405)
- 3 tbsp durum wheat semolina
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 pinch Kala Namak salt
- 2 shallots
- 75 g (2.5 oz) vegan nut-based feta
- 3–4 tbsp vegan butter
- 90 g (3 oz) vegan bacon (finely diced)
- fried onions
Wash wild garlic and purée it with sparkling water and vegetable oil until smooth. Mix wheat flour, durum wheat semolina, cornstarch, salt and a pinch of Kala Namak salt in a large bowl and add the puréed wild garlic and mix to a smooth batter
Heat a large pot of salted water, but keep the temperature high, so it’s not boiling, but just simmering. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the water.
Using a spaetzle press, add the spaetzle batter to the water and skim the spaetzle off as soon as they float to the surface.
Tip: If you don't have a spaetzle press, you can also use a dough card (or a sharp knife) and a cutting board. You can find many helpful videos on the internet for this.
In the meantime, finely dice the shallots and crumble the nut-based feta. Melt vegan butter in a large frying pan and sauté the shallots in it. Add the drained spaetzle and toss them in the vegan butter for 3–4 minutes. Remove the spaetzle from the pan and sauté the vegan bacon for 3–4 minutes as well.
Serve the vegan wild garlic spaetzle with almond feta, vegan bacon bits and fried onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.