People are enjoying a lot more home-cooking during this COVID 19 Lockdown period. Mostly because we are at home more but also because we can’t go out for meals. We’ve taken this opportunity to inspire you to get cooking with the great seasonal fruit herbs and vegetables we have available both in the shops and markets and even by having a go at growing your own.
June is a great time for eating spinach. It’s actually in season from April right through to September so Spring and Summer are great for spinach fans. We grow our own and along with chard and Kale, we usually have a good supply of leafy greens throughout the year.
We are not the only ones running cooking sessions online during lockdown. The Great British Food Festival has gone virtual too with coo- alongs on Zoom and Youtube lead by guest chefs. when they asked Season well to lead a cook-along session for their veggie lunch session (Saturdays at 1 pm) we jumped at the chance to share this lovely recipe for spinach pancakes with mushroom sauce which we originally developed for an Orb Community Arts cooking class. We developed the recipe using kale in the pancakes and leeks in the mushroom sauce but it was easy for us to adapt it to more seasonal spinach and spring onions.
The Cook along session went really well with people putting their own styles into the presentation of their pancakes.
You can watch the cook-along session on Youtube. The recipe is really versatile and can be made vegetarian or vegan.
Spinach Pancakes with mushroom sauce
Vegetarian and Vegan options
Ingredients: (serves 2- makes 6-8 small pancakes)
100g Spinach, (Kale or chard will work too)
125g plain or wholemeal flour ( or a half and half mix of the 2)
1tsp baking powder
200 ml milk (or plant milk of your choice)
1 egg (or 1 tbsp chia seeds and 3tbsp water)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Oil for frying
For the Mushroom sauce
2 spring onions, sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
1tsp fresh thyme leaves
50mls single cream (or soya/oat equivalent)
100g blue cheese ( or 1 tsp tahini)
½ tablespoon vegetable oil. We use rapeseed
Salt and pepper
Tablespoon chopped parsley or chives or any other spring herb like sorrel or wild garlic.
Food processor or hand mixer
Large mixing bowl
If making a chia/flax egg grind 1 tbsp seeds in a pestle & mortar or food processor then mix with 3 tbsp water. Set aside for a few minutes for it to thicken.
If using baby spinach simply place the leaves in a blender and pulse until they are broken down. If using bigger leaves tear the leaves off the thick middle cores and then pulse.
Then put the rest of the pancake ingredients into the food processor. Blitz till combined and smooth.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables for the sauce:
slice the spring onions and mushrooms
Peel & crush the garlic, chop the time and chop the cheese ( if using) into cubes
Put ½ tbsp of oil into a saucepan and warm on a low heat. Then add the spring onions mushroom, garlic and thyme and leave to cook gently with a lid on whilst you fry the pancakes
Set your oven to its lowest temperature. Warm ½ tablespoon oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add 2 tbsp batter per pancake to the pan – you should be able to cook 2-3 pancakes at a time. Gently fry for 3 mins till browned underneath with lots of bubbles on top.
Flip. Cook for another 2 mins till set. Keep warm on a plate in the oven while you cook the rest of the pancakes, adding more oil as you need it.
(you may need to wipe out the pan with kitchen roll in between batches if you have any burnt bits) You should get 6-8 pancakes.
Stir the leeks and mushrooms. When they are nicely softened you can add the blue cheese and cream and stir till all the cheese has melted. For Vegan option add Oat cream, or creme fraiche, and tahini and stir to combine.
Serve the pancakes topped with a spoonful of the sauce and a sprinkling of chopped parsley or chives