Real-life pocket-camera photo of the pancakes just before they were devoured, with tomato sauce and another recipe from Plenty, roasted veggies with caper and lemon dressing – delicious!
My friend Megan grew up in the south. She loves greens; collards, kale, chard, you name it. She loves them just cooked and piled up on a plate. However, as I have confessed before, I just don’t like them like that, I find it too slimy, too bitter, too dark and green. But I think of her when I find a way to eat greens that I do like, such as this one from Plenty by Yotam Otelenghi. If you’re at all interested in eating vegetables, this cookbook is a must-read. Lots and lots of new ideas and flavors. I’m pretty sure that it made a great big splash when it came out a couple of years ago, but somehow I missed it. I like finding good things that I’ve missed, and you can keep them longer from the library. Bryan and I have been cooking together a lot lately, and we raced through this book, I don’t think I’ve ever made so many recipes from one source in such a short time. Good thing too, because even though it’s not a new book, someone else requested it at the library and I had to give it back after three weeks. I’ll just have to get my own copy.
In the meantime, I really wanted to make these pancakes for Megan when I saw her. She’s eating dairy-free for a while, so I had to adapt the recipe (even more than I already had). But to my delight the pancakes are just as good! The key to this recipe is to beat the egg whites to soft peaks and then fold them into the batter. It makes a lovely light texture and holds everything together.
The original recipe has you fold lime and herbs into softened butter, then refrigerate it again, and put on the pancakes. They are delicious with the flavored butter (I used lemon and thyme), but just as good with a plain pat of butter, and/or with tomato sauce on top. I bet they’re good with your favorite sauce and condiments as well.
Adapted (a lot) from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
Pull the greens from the stems of one large bunch or two small bunches of green stuff: collard greens, chard, kale, spinach, etc. You should have about 8 cups. Steam in a steamer basket over simmering water until bright green and wilted.
Meanwhile, mix together in a large bowl:
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 egg yolks
2 Tablespoons melted unsalted butter -or- olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2/3 cup milk -or- water
2 green onions, finely sliced
1/4 cup fresh or frozen and thawed or canned green chiles -or- sub a little of your favorite hot sauce
Chop the steamed greens fairly fine and mix them in as well. The batter will look like mostly greens held together with a little flour and stuff, and that’s fine.
Beat the egg whites on medium-high speed with a mixer until they hold a soft peak when you pull the beaters away. Fold the egg whites into the batter gently with a rubber spatula, just until everything is combined.
Put a little oil (it really doesn’t take much for them not to stick) in a frying pan, and heat it over medium-low heat. Ladle about a quarter cup of batter into the pan for each pancake, and flatten it out a bit. Cook until deep brown on the bottom, then flip with a metal spatula and cook the other side. Put the pancakes on a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest.