Good morning! I don’t usually pop up here on a Saturday but I really wanted to share this easy, filling and really quite delicious “come on, Spring” brunch pancake recipe with you.
Although the main ingredient, chickpea flour, is not quite store cupboard there are other recipes you can/should make with it, including falafels and the Italian panissa, a chick flour-based polenta. And of course fluffy, crunchy pakora. These black-eyed bean with coconut kadhi pakora by my friend Deena Kakaya for the Curry for Change charity challenge look stunning.
I have previously posted – and we adore – chickpea pancake lasagne (with these pancakes instead of pasta!), and a light “open” style of lasagne with no sauce but loads of fresh vegetables and dots of goat’s cheese and pesto. So a small bag tucked away in your pantry shouldn’t be a problem. You may just want to keep making these crepe-like pancakes anyway as they are naturally gluten-free way of eating pancakes, and have a low-glycemic score. These are super-filling too – in a good way.
I sometimes make my recently posted chocolate and rye pancakes with chickpea flour instead of wheat and rye. The nuttiness of the cooked flour actually goes surprisingly well with chocolate, as well as sweet spicing and a little sugar.
But before you rush out to buy it, a wee tip for any chickpea flour newbies: it is rarely called chickpea flour. You will see it as besan, garbanzo flour, gram (NOT graham) flour, farina di ceci, farine de pois, but rarely as chickpea flour. I don’t know why. This tip may save you a lot of head-scratching.
The only other thing to add is that chickpea pancakes are meant to be rough and imperfect, eaten greedily with the hands, so don’t stress about tears or stuck-on bits. Those bits are the tastiest anyway.
Spring Vegetable & Fried Egg Brunch Pancakes
These colour-studded savoury pancakes are made with nutty-tasting chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, gram flour, farina di ceci, farine de pois – but rarely labeled as chickpea flour. But that’s what it is. Because it is a legume it contains no gluten, so you won’t use it as wheat flour, but it makes the most fantastic savoury pancakes and not bad sweet – chocolate – pancakes either.
130g (1 cup) gram flour
½ tsp salt
260ml (2 cup + 1 tbsp) warm water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided use
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided use
10-16 asparagus spears, tougher ends cut/snapped off
6-10 spring onions/scallions, root ends trimmed
Double handful of radishes, halved lengthways and sliced thickly
1 small courgette/zucchini
1 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs, optional
1. First of all make the pancake batter by adding a little less than half of the water to the gram flour and salt, and whisking like mad to get out the lumps; pour in 1 tablespoon of the oil and the rest of the water and whisk. The batter should run off a spoon like single cream at this stage. Cover and leave to absorb for between 1 and 2 hours – although you could get away with 30 minutes.
2. While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Toss the asparagus, spring onions and radishes in 2 teaspoons of the oil, lay on a tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. While these veg are in the oven, grate, julienne slice or spiralise the courgette and toss with the lemon juice. Set aside.
3. Now it is time to make the pancakes. Heat a sauté pan and add ½ tablespoon of the remaining oil. Test the heat of the oil with a small fleck of batter. If it sizzles immediately it is ready for the batter. Pour in half the batter and carefully swirl the pan to cover the bottom evenly. Cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, then carefully slide a spatula under the pancake, flip and continue cooking until the pancake is dry, with a slightly crisped edge. Pop the pancake onto a serving plate and cover lightly with foil or a paper towel. Make another pancake.
4. When the pancakes are made, heat the remaining oil in a lidded sauté pan, crack in the eggs and cook under cover until the whites are firm and the yolk still has a little wobble. Or make up the eggs how you wish, of course.
To serve, divide the roasted vegetables between the two pancakes, strew over the courgette (you may not want all of it), and top with the eggs. Eat immediately. As if you would wait!
Lovely tweak: I sometimes smear on a tablespoon of black olive tapenade – extremely delicious!
**I’m happy to report that I am sharing this vegetarian Spring recipe over with three of my favourite blogs, Belleau Kitchen, A Mummy Too and Tinned Tomatoes. Have a look around these these lovely, welcoming spaces for great recipes and good chat. **
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