No Waste Holiday Veggie Pancakes
We have my friend Paul to thank for this recipe. He made it for our Thanksgiving celebration last week and I have to share it because it was such a hit!
While slicing and dicing all the carrots, onions, brussel sprouts, green beans etc., he collected the scraps: the awkward ends, the small bits, the extra leaves, and put them in a bowl that grew increasingly colorful as the day's preparations progressed.
Earlier, he had whipped up a light as air batter and as hungry mouths began to arrive in the kitchen, he poured batches of the batter into a cast iron pan with all the scraps. Served piping hot with a tahini dip, it was a perfect appetizer that also served as a teaser for what was to come.
Thank you, Paul, for creating new traditions!
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. turmeric for color
Asian: Sesame Tahini dressing mixed in hummus, in a one to one ratio, with diced scallions and furikake
Greek: 1 cup thick greek yogurt, mixed with two tablespoons of Red Wine vinaigrette, and served with a squeeze of lemon juice and lemon zest on top
Part 1 - The Veggies
Slice a bunch of vegetables into thin slivers. Ideally with a mandolin. If not, use a knife to cut into slices, and then slices into slivers.
Each sliver should be 3-4 inches long. You basically want them to be long but not too long to keep them from meshing with each other.
We used all the bits and pieces from the veggies we were preparing for the main meal.
- After slicing, toss the veggies well in a large bowl, making sure all the slivers have separated.
Part 2 - The Batter
Whisk all the batter ingredients together until very smooth. You can expand easily, its 1:1 flour/water - this is about 6 servings.
Reserve a 1/2 cup of the batter mixture.
- Fold the rest into the bowl with the sliced veggies, making sure they are well tossed, and covered with batter.
Part 3 - The Sauce
We served this with two doctored dressings. Follow instructions for either the Asian, Greek, or both!
Part 4 - In the Pan
Heat up a flat pan, ideally a 12 inch cast iron, on high heat with a splash or two of olive oil.
- Use a pair of tongs to take a handful of battered veggies, put them in the middle of the pan.
- The KEY STEP: immediately spread them out and flatten them into a circle where the veggies are interlaced and form a kind of a flat nest. Bring in any slivers that are sticking out of the circle as much as you can.
- You want a flat pancake of interlaced veggie slivers. This takes a bit of practice, so don't worry if your first few pancakes don't cohere. You will get it.
- Add a spoonful of extra batter into parts of the pancake that seem to be all veggie and less batter.
- Turn the heat down to med-high and cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip the pancake, and cook for another 5 minutes until both sides are crispy.
- Pull out onto a plate with a paper towel to drain for a minute while you add the next pancake to the pan.
- Serve on a wooden cutting board with a sharp knife and your sauce.