All around Minnesota and the world, Lederhosen-clad beer drinkers are celebrating Oktoberfest, a German beer festival, which is held in mid to late September or early October every year.
In September, the Mill City Farmers Market indulged in the festivities with a live polka band, hard cider samples and a spaetzle cooking demonstration during the free Saturday cooking class, Mill City Cooks. If you missed the demo from Beth Jones, executive chef of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Club, don’t worry, because we’ve got the simple recipe for this German pasta right here!
Celebrate the local harvest with Jones’ spin on the recipe, which brings some color to the traditional dish with kohlrabi, sweet peppers and zucchini. You can shop for all the local ingredients you need for this dish and catch the Mill City Farmers Market’s free chef-led cooking demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday through the end of October.
Find seasonal recipes and more information at millcityfarmersmarket.org.
Fried spaetzle with vegetables and quark
By market chef Beth Jones. Serves 2-4.
This recipe calls for quark, an un-aged German-style soft cheese. Mill City Farmers Market vendor Cosmic Wheel Creamery makes excellent herbed and plain quark that goes great with this dish!
- 1 batch spaetzle (recipe below)
- 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 small onion, small dice
- 1 large kohlrabi, peeled, medium dice
- 1 small red or yellow pepper, seeded, medium dice
- 1 small zucchini, medium dice
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley or basil, chiffonade
- 1/2 cup Cosmic Wheel Creamery quark
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron pan, allowing it to brown slightly. Add the spaetzle, tossing to coat. When thoroughly coated, allow the spaetzle to brown over medium high heat. This can take anywhere from 3–6 minutes. Once browned, stir and allow to brown for another 3 minutes. Remove the spaetzle from the pan, and add an additional tablespoon of butter. Sauté the onions until brown, and add the remaining vegetables, thyme, garlic and salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 1/ 2 cup white wine and cook for 1 minute. Add the spaetzle and toss with the parsley and or basil. Top with the quark and serve.
- 1 1/4 cup flour (regular or rice flour for a gluten free option)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Mix together the flour, eggs, milk, mustard, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a bowl until the dough is smooth. The dough should be elastic enough to stretch about 5–6 inches.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Lightly oil a colander, potato ricer or spaetzle maker with oil. Working in batches, take 1/2 cup of the dough and press it through the colander directly into the simmering water. Simmer for about 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon, drain and place on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
The spaetzle can be served immediately, or lightly oiled, cooled, and frozen or refrigerated for a later use.