Weeknight pancake supper made healthy with kale, quinoa, tomatoes and tomato pesto. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
I’m one of those people who always has their skillet out, ready and waiting for some quick and easy food action. Read: it’s too heavy to drag in and out of the cabinet.
But one of the main reasons my cast iron skillet is my kitchen BFF is soccas. Or farinatas. Or chickpea pancakes. So many names for these easy, naturally vegan and gluten-free pancakes!
On the blog I’ve made them into a (above) lasagne with creamy spinach & roasted squash, this light, ‘open’ vegetable lasagne (it looks like a crazy salad), a brunch version with spring veg and smoked salmon, and my original ones, flecked with rosemary and thyme and topped with bought giant couscous and sundried tomato salad.
I have form in the farinata department.
In short, I make them a lot.What are socca/farinata? The basics are pretty damn basic: water, gram/chickpea flour, olive oil, salt. That’s it.
What results from mixing these whole food ingredients together is nothing short of miraculous. If you want, taste the raw batter. Or maybe don’t and trust me when I say that it tastes ruddy awful. How can this possibly be edible, let alone something you will want to make again and again?
Again, trust me. 🙂
If you’ve made soccas before, you will know they are the basis of an excellent meal for absolutely zero effort. Top them with whatever you wish, whether fresh or cooked. Because they are high in protein, even one pancake is very filling and in no need of a heavy protein topping, although a poached or fried egg is always welcome on my pancake.
In this case, I’ve zhushed up the batter itself, with tomato pesto. Normally I’m a purist with my soccas, and just fling on toppings to add interest and colour. But today I’ve gone for interest and colour in the pancake and on the pancake.
Take my lead and saute up some kale and pop in a big handful of cherry tomatoes, cooking until the latter burst. I’ve also added a scattering of cooked quinoa (from a packet by Merchant Gourmet – lovely stuff), some toasted pine nuts and daubed with a quick sauce of yogurt and more tomato pesto. Super-easy, belly-patting stuff. Perfect for a lunch for two. Or hold the batter in the fridge to whip up more the next day. I’ve also reheated the cooked pancakes in a hot oven for five minutes with pretty good results.
What’s the last thing you made in your skillet? What’s the next thing you’ll cook in your skillet (wink, wink)?
Pesto Chickpea Pancakes with Burst Tomatoes, Kale and Quinoa
Weeknight pancake supper made healthy with kale, quinoa, tomatoes and tomato pesto. Naturally vegan and gluten-free. Do not add maple syrup! xx
130g (1 c) gram/chickpea flour
260g (2c + 1 tbsp) warm water
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
2 tbsp tomato pesto or basil/coriander/rocket pesto (free from if needed – Sacla’ have a choice)
Mix the batter ingredients in a bowl or a blender until smooth. Let this sit for half an hour.
While waiting, chop and sauté 4-5 large de-ribbed kale leaves (cavolo nero) with large double handful of cherry tomatoes and a clove of chopped garlic. Separately, mix a few tbsp of dairy/non-dairy yogurt with 2 tsp tomato pesto.
Heat a heavy skillet with a drizzle of olive oil until hot. Pour in one-quarter or one-third of the batter and swirl it around to coat well. With a little luck you will get the coveted and delectable lacy edges. Heat until golden on the bottom then flip, cooking for only about one to one and a half minutes more. Cook the remaining batter.
Sprinkle with some cooked grains or pseudo-grains of choice (I used red and white quinoa), toasted pine nuts, the kale and tomatoes. Drizzle over the pesto-yogurt sauce. Eat warm!
Soft food diet: cook and separately puree kale or spinach and tomatoes (or use tomato sauce); blitz pine nuts with a little lemon juice and oil. Swirl over the cooked pancakes in a pretty pattern.
RIPE FOR PINNING!