Yotam Ottolenghi’s green pancakes

I have been far too slack on blogging recently – we have moved to a charming little apartment with a less than desirable kitchen (glass electric stovetop = a lot of uneven cooking), and this has slowed down my cooking a bit. Then again, this is really no excuse, as these delicious pancakes, along with the lime and coriander butter, were just about the last thing I made in our old apartment. I apologise for the wait.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Green Pancakes

(From Ottolenghi’s Plenty)

56g (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

230g (1/2 lb, about 8 cups) spinach

3/4 cup self-raising flour

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1 large egg

4 tablespoons

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin (if you are a big fan of cumin, like me, you can add up to 1 teaspoon more)

A big pinch of salt

2/3 cup milk

6 spring onions (scallions)

2 fresh green chillies

1 egg white

Olive oil (for frying)

 

Begin by melting the unsalted butter on low heat. When melted, out to one side to cool.

Wash the spinach well, but do not drain remaining water. Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place the spinach in the frying pan, and cover with a large pot lid. (The water from washing should provide enough steam to wilt the spinach, but if there is not much water, add a splash more). The spinach should only take a few minutes (5 at most) to wilt. Drain, and put to one side to cool. Wipe down your non-stick pan for frying the pancakes.

In a large bowl whisk together the self-raising flour, baking powder, whole egg, melted butter, salt, cumin and milk. The mixture should form a smooth paste. Finely slice the spring onions (scallions) and chillies, roughly chop the wilted spinach, and mix them all into the batter. In a dry bowl, whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Fold into the batter. (Note that the batter is quite thick, so you shouldn’t expect the egg white to add a great deal of fluffiness to it – just make sure that there aren’t pockets of whisked egg white in your batter that haven’t been properly combined). If you want to make the batter in advance, you can now stop and put it in the fridge, covered, until you are ready to cook. I used half the batter for the first batch of pancakes, and then made more pancakes about 24 hours later, and they were just as good.

When you are ready to make your pancakes, preheat your oven to a very low temperature, so you can keep pancakes warm while you cook more. On medium-high, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in your non-stick pan. Ladle 2-3 tablespoons of pancake batter into the pan to make each pancake, and lightly press the batter down so it spreads evenly (this is particularly important if it has been in the fridge, as that will make it a little thicker). Cook for 2-4 minutes on each side until they turn golden. Place on a paper towel, on a heat-proof plate and store in the oven so they stay warm until you are finished. Add more olive oil if needed when frying the next batch of pancakes.

Serve with big rounds of lime and coriander butter, and salad.

Makes a medium-small meal for 4 people.

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