Though neither savoury or sweet, pancakes are generally filled or topped with sweet ingredients. Lemon and sugar, maple syrup, blueberry jam; the list of sweet pancake toppings is endless. Despite this, pancakes lend themselves favourably to savoury pancake fillings like beetroot and feta with just a smattering of fresh British watercress.
Making savoury pancakes is much the same making any other sort of pancake. The batter mixture is no different, making them the ideal blank canvas for all sorts of flavour. Channelling a little trans-European inspiration, these Feta and Beetroot Pancakes are unsurprisingly robust in taste. The sharp feta combines well with the earthy beetroot and peppery notes afforded by a smattering of watercress.
If there’s one rule by which to abide when making pancakes, particularly British pancakes or crepes, it’s not to turn them too early. Always give them a full 30 seconds on either side, or your pancakes will stick or fall apart. Be careful when flipping too, using the thinnest utensil in your possession. If your “flipper” is too thick the edges of your pancakes could find themselves unceremoniously damaged.
Quick and simple to prepare, savoury pancakes make perfect light lunches. For a meaty alternative, give my recipe for Merguez and Spinach Sourdough Pancakes a try. You could also replace the British pancakes in this recipe with a sourdough batch, if you have a little excess starter to hand.
Beetroot and Feta Pancakes
for the pancakes:
50g plain flour
150ml whole milk
a pinch of salt
butter or oil for cooking
for the filling:
2 pre-boiled beetroots, in chunks
100g feta cheese, crumbled
a handful of watercress
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Beat the egg and milk together in a jug.
Whisk the egg mixture into the flour, adding a little at a time until you have a smooth batter.
Over a medium temperature, heat a small amount of butter or oil in a heavy-based frying pan.
Ladle roughly a quarter of the mixture into the pan and tilt until spread to the sides. Leave to cook for 30 seconds before flipping. Each side should be golden brown.
Repeat this process for the remaining mixture. Separate each cooked pancake with greaseproof paper until ready to fill.
When they are ready, simply fill each pancake with beetroot and feta, followed by a watercress garnish and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Cost: As you’re probably aware, the main expense with this recipe comes from the filling. While beetroot and feta are relatively inexpensive, good-quality watercress is a little dearer. Happily, a £1.50 bunch of watercress also goes a long way as a result of its peppery flavour.
Despite the expense of watercress, this delicious lunch for four should set you back no more than £2.
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