Tahini Spaetzle with Olives, Chickpeas and Cauliflower

Tahini Spaeztle

See how nice that spaetzle looks? I promise it tastes even better. But I know when you start reading the recipe to make it for yourself, you’re going to try to ruin it.

You’ll look at the ingredient list and start thinking about how you can cut a few corners. “What ridiculously named olive does he want me to use?” you’ll ask. “Can I just use a regular lemon?” you’ll wonder. “I can just cook up some dried pasta, right?” you’ll reason.

Do. Not. Give. In.

Castelvetrano olives are available in most grocery stores, in jars if not fresh. Preserved lemons can be found at any middle-eastern specialty shop – or you can easily make your own. And while making your own spaetzle might seem intimidating (many recipes tell you to press the dough through a colander) it really doesn’t have to be. Just use thumb and pointer finger to pinch off small bits of dough. A bit messy, but not challenging.

The extra effort is worth it, I promise you. This dish is a sublime blend of tangy, salty, and creamy that nonetheless defies expectations of being too rich or heavy. The castelvetranos are meaty and buttery, spaetzle is nutty, and the preserved lemons are packed with concentrated zest and just the right tartness.

Do it right. Treat yo self.

Tahini Spaetzle with Olives, Chickpeas and Cauliflower (Serves 2-3)

Spaetzle Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons tahini

Dish Ingredients

  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, broken up into florets
  • 1/2 cup of chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoon of tahini
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 of a preserved lemon, finely diced
  • 8 castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup of parsley leaves


  1. Combine all the dry spaetzle dough ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the milk, eggs, and tahini. Let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and tahini until they are fully coated. Spread across a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy and the cauliflower is just beginning to brown.
  3. Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a low boil. Pinch off small (~1/2 inch) pieces of and drop them into the boiling water. Cook the spaetzle until it rises to the surface of the water, about 2-3 minutes. You may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot.
  4. Heat a large skillet to medium-high and saute the garlic and preserved lemon with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil for 1 minute. Add the cooked spaetzle and remaining tahini and saute for another
  5. To serve, pile a handful of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas atop the spaetzle and top with olives and parsley.

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