I don't know about you, but as the light and temperature start making an autumnal shift I find my tastes changing, too. I find myself wanting and making more savory things, replacing much of the sweetness that is on our table in summer. I recently discovered a savory pancake recipe I'm sure I'll make again and again.
Since the book came out a few months ago I've been cooking a lot from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty. Many of the recipes have appeared in his New Vegetarian column in the Guardian's Weekend magazine, and there are also many new highly original vegetarian dishes. (And the photography in the book is amazing - that alone makes it worth owning.) One of my favorites from the book, so far, is the green pancakes with lime butter; they're great for a weekend brunch served with a side of greens. I modify the recipe to account for my children's aversion to anything too spicy, but left notes about what I omitted so that you may add them in if you like.
There will be extra lime butter. Use it on a baked sweet potato (Ottolenghi's suggestion).
Green pancakes with lime butter
adapted slightly from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty
1 cup spinach, washed
1/2 cup self-rising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
150 ml milk
6 medium scallions, finely sliced
(2 fresh green chillies, thinly sliced - I left these out to make the dish more kid-friendly)
1 egg white
olive oil for frying
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
grated zest of 1 lime
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Start with the lime butter. Put the butter in a medium bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon until it turns soft and creamy. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Tip onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a sausage shape. Twist the ends of the film to seal the flavored butter. Chill until firm.
Wilt the spinach in a pan with a splash of water. Drain in a colander. When cool, squeeze hard with your hands to remove as much water as possible. Chop and set aside.
For the pancake batter, put the flour, baking powder, egg, melted butter, salt, cumin and milk in a large mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the scallions, chillies if using, and spinach and mix with a fork. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and gently fold into the batter.
Pour a small amount of olive oil into a heavy frying pan and place on medium heat. For each pancake, ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan and press down gently. These pancakes will be relatively small. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden-green. Transfer to a paper towel and keep warm. Continue making pancakes until the batter is used up.
To serve, pile up three warm pancakes per person and place a slice of lime butter on top to melt.