Every day can be pancake day with this savoury recipe
With all the possible pancake permutations, why leave it to just one Tuesday in March?
During the school midterm break last week I made pancakes every single morning. I feel that we need to up our game a bit this coming pancake day. Simple crepes with lemon and sugar just won’t do. A stack of American-style fluffy pancakes doused in maple syrup is a regular weekend occurrence. Next Tuesday households all over the country will be flipping pancakes and panicking about supplies of eggs, milk and lemons. So this weekend I suggest you stock up on more milk and eggs than you think you’ll need.
I’m a big fan of date syrup too. It’s not too sweet, has real depth and an almost molasses-like savoury quality. To make a quick chocolate sauce, I just stir a teaspoon of cocoa powder into a cup of maple syrup or honey to make a thick, super-sweet sauce that’s somewhat better than the glucose syrup-laden shop-bought versions. Add a pinch of salt or vanilla too.
As it’s pancake day most days in my house I’m going to go the savoury route, with sweet ones for dessert of course. Here I’ve blitzed raw beetroot with a little milk to make a thick, vivid pink smoothie, then simply add the regular pancake ingredients. I’ve whipped the egg whites to make them light and soft, with a dash of vinegar to bring volume and balance the sweet beets. I usually use my ¼ cup measure to ladle the batter in the pan as that ensures each one will be the same size. Smoked salmon and dill are a classic with beetroot. They all taste so good together bound with a burst of lemon juice, black pepper and sour cream or yogurt.
You can make these pancakes even smaller and serve them as blini for an attractive and tasty canape. The fact that a stack of these purple beauties will add to your vegetable intake is an added bonus. These are delicious served as a flatbread alternative with curries too. They freeze well with a layer of greaseproof paper in between and are perfectly portable for packed lunches. Another way to make pancakes a little different is to blitz raw spinach into the batter for bright green results or add lots of mixed herbs for great flavour. Ground turmeric and a little garam masala make a delicious yellow version, or use sweet potato in place of the beetroot for the recipe below. The possibilities are endless when it comes to this versatile batter.
Beetroot pancakes with smoked salmon
130g beetroot, raw and cut into bite-size pieces
3 eggs, separated
130g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch sea salt
To serve: Natural yogurt, dill, hot smoked salmon, wedges of lemon, black pepper
Blend the milk and beetroot together until completely smooth. I do this in a nutribullet, but any high-speed blender or stick blender will do. Pour this bright purple mix into a bowl and whisk in the egg yolks. Add the vinegar and salt. Sieve in the baking powder and flour. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites untilrrrrrr soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the beetroot batter.
Drizzle a little olive oil a large non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Pour tablespoons of ¼ cups of the batter into little rounds on the pan. You should be able to cook 4-5 at a time. Once bubble begin to appear on the surface flip them over for a further 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and keep warm whilst you cook the remainder. Serve warm with the yogurt, smoked salmon, dill, lemon and black pepper.