I first spied this recipe in a special issue of Fine Cooking magazine from, um, 2006. Yes, it’s taken me a bit to get to making them for the first time, but I have alot of recipe clippings and things sometimes get buried quickly. I didn’t have high hopes for the kids scoffing these down, but I figured that, worst case, I could eat them with my dinner, and then reheat them for lunch during the week. I needn’t have worried. Nick decided he could live with them if he ate a bite of the vegetable pancake with a bite of chicken. I could live with that too. Madeline? Well, that little monkey eats just about everything, including these.
They were a snap to make, and perhaps most importantly, are very forgiving. I might have made an oops or two or three during the recipe, while trying to pay attention to the kids, the dog, the ringing phone and goodness knows what else at the time, but still managed to produce a delicious end result. Completely packed with vegetables, they are light on filler and fat, but full on flavor. This recipe would be a great way to use up dregs of vegetables you have in your refrigerator, and perfect for a side dish at dinner or a filling lunch. Dregs, dinner or lunch, I can guarantee I’ll be making this one again.
Savory Vegetable Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Fine Cooking magazine
Yields approximately six pancakes
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small dice
1 cup coarsely grated carrots (from about 2-medium carrots)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (from about 1/2 rib)
1 packed cup baby spinach (about 2-1/4 oz.), chopped
2 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black-pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Sour cream, chopped tomato, and fresh cilantro for garnish
In a medium sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onion, green pepper, carrots, and celery until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and stir in the breadcrumbs. Add the vegetable mixture and mix well. Season with 3/4-tsp. salt and 3 or 4 grinds black pepper, and refrigerate for 5 minutes to let the batter firm up.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Working in two batches (three pancakes at a time), use a 1/4-cup measure to transfer the batter to the sauté pan, pressing down on the mixture to form cakes about 4-1/2 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick. Sauté until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels, repeat with the remaining batter, and serve with the sour cream, chopped tomato, and cilantro.