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English Pea Pancakes with Colorful Vegetable Saute and Basil Butter

[1]

I am so in love with the Cafe Flora Cookbook [2]. It’s written in a style that feels like a friend giving you advice in the kitchen. Each recipe comes with an excellent description, suggestions for garnishes, complimentary side dishes and instructions on what order to prep things so that the dish is completed at it’s ultimate peak of deliciousness.

The English Pea Pancake recipe is no exception. These pancakes came out perfectly fluffy and not overly filling. It was suggested that they be served with a Colorful Vegetable Saute [3] and topped with Basil Butter [4].

If making the meal together, the cookbook suggests that you start on the basil butter well ahead of time. Then prep all the vegetables for the saute. Then cook the pancakes, keeping them warm in the oven while you finish up the vegetable saute because it only takes a few minutes and should be served as soon as possible because they “lose their sparkle” if held too long.

English Pea Pancakes
Cafe Flora Cookbook [2]

(Note: I reduced this recipe so that I made only 2/3 of the pancakes. The full recipe is outlined below. Be forewarned, you will end up with about 18 5-inch pancakes if you make the full amount.)

3 cups shelled English (or shelling) peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 T finely chopped fresh basil
2 2/1 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
Vegetable oil for the griddle (I used cooking spray)

Make the pancake batter. In a blender, puree the peas with the shallot, mint, basil, and milk.

Add the eggs and butter to the blender, and blend until combined.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and sugar into a medium bowl. Add the pea mixture to these dry ingredients, and stir just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Be careful not to overbeat.

Cook the pancakes. Heat a lightly greased driddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, drop 3 tablespoons batter per pancake onto the hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form, about 3 minutes, and then flip to brown the other side, about 1 minute.

Stack the pancakes on a plate, cover with a damp towel, and keep warm in a 200-degree oven until all the pancakes are done. (Note: I set my toaster oven to “warm”, then stacked the pancakes on the little baking pan, covering them with a damp paper towel.)

To serve individually, place 3 pancakes overlapping in a circle on a warm plate. Put 2 slices basil butter [4] on them, and top with some of the sauteed vegetables [3].