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Our community garden plot

In the past weeks we have harvested radish, lettuce, spinach, scallions and rhubarb from our share of the community garden. (Well, the rhubarb was a nearby bonus not actually growing in our plot. You can read about that in As far as the eye can see.)

Kohlrabi and lettuce

We’ve made salads from our local harvest and I’ve made plenty of pies. My favorite creation this summer so far though has been a salad I threw together with some produce we got from our local grocer and some spätzle. Spätzle, for those of you not living in Germany or familiar with German/American cuisine, is an egg pasta that is more like homemade pasta than a typical egg noodle. It is made with durum wheat semolina and eggs, that’s it. It’s a coarse little pasta shaped like little twigs and very tasty. I had some smoked Salmon on hand and some cherry tomatoes and I wanted something green to throw in for good measure. It seems impossible to get fresh kale or collards or broccoli rabe here this time of year so I settled for what I had left over from another meal, green beans. The combination worked out amazingly well and I have made it several more times since then, each time being just as good as the first recreational cooking experiment. You can use whatever vegetables you have in season near you or even frozen peas or greens would work well with this too, I think. If you can’t find spätzle then a homemade egg pasta would work wonderfully for this dish.

Spätzle "pasta" salad

Spätzle “pasta” salad

250 grams spätzle or other homemade egg pasta

200 grams smoked salmon

200 grams cherry or grape tomatoes

250 grams green beans

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper

In boiling water cook the spätzle until tender, about 10-12 minutes. While the water is coming to a boil prepare the green beans by removing the ends, cleaning and cutting in half. In a small pot put a small amount of water in with the green beans and steam them until tender but not mushy. When the spätzle is done drain and reserve at least 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set aside. In a large bowl combine the cooked spätzle with the cooked green beans and cherry tomatoes. Break bite size pieces of the salmon into the bowl with the spätzle. Drizzle olive oil on top and some of the reserved cooking water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together. The salmon will cook slightly and turn a lighter pink if everything is put together while still warm. If you want the salmon to remain raw then add it after the noodles have cooled slightly. Can be eaten warm (right away) or cold.