these austrian style soft dumplings are a standard vegetarian dish, that usually is served with lots of cheese and onions to be enjoyed after hard physical work or sports …
after i felt it was a bit boring to do them the same way over and over again, first i noticed that adding the nepalese spice mix panch phoron (consisting of cumin, brown mustard, fenugreek, nigella and fennel) on top, so at least the dish heavy with cheese would be easier to digest. and not surprisingly the lovely aromatic seeds has been also a lovley add-on tastewise.
now however as my kids like most kids have had periods of having their taste curiousity limited by a wish for familiar taste and dishes and me thinking about how to make them eat more greens. as you know kids are very creative especially when it comes to avoid a wide variation of new tastes, they might even atttest you that they do not possess an esophagus for greens : ). anyway i never force my kids to eat up their plates, however i ask them to try a dish just once. science says, that takes up to 16 times until they accomodate to a new taste. nevertheless the phase also is a phase …
and it might start even though they were served wild curries via the umbilical cord or have thorougly enjoyed cilantro or blue cheese at very young age.
ok, back to the promised recipe. anyway, to enhance the nockerl vitality-wise and tastewise i added nettle and wild garlic pesto to the dough and it turned out to be a good idea.
for the pesto
i mixed slightly cut wild garlic and nettle leaves (about 120g)
(if you are afraid of them to sting, you can blanch them lightly)
with roasted walnuts (200g)
plant oil (4tbsp), a pinch of coarse sea salt,
pepper, cayenne pepper and nutmeg
in a high performance blender until it is a fine paste.
you can keep it in the fridge for up to a week and it is also lovely on bread or pasta or in salad dressings. ideally cover the top with a little oil and put it into a glass jar.
for the nockerl
i mixed 300g spelt flower, 250ml milk, one egg, 2 tbsp plant oil,
salt and 3-4 tbsp pesto in a bowl.
for a vegan solution high quality soy milk, and 1 tbsp flaxseed powder with 3 tbsp warm water to substitute the egg works best.
the dough is then added to salted boiling water via a cheese grater and a dough scraper with big holes, so that the dough enters the water in big drops rather then one. in austria we have a kitchen tool which is called spätzlereibe to get dough drops, but actually you don’t need it, if you can improvise with what is at hand.
boil for 3-5 minutes, then drain and genty roast in butter or olive oil. add salt and pepper and
serve with herbs or some more pesto as you like. enjoy!