Monday, 4 February 2013

Super Savory Pancakes!

Frittelle di Patate Dolce & Rucola con Pomodorini Caramellati
Sweet Potato & Arugula Pancakes with Caramelized Cherry Tomatoes

Meatless Monday! But does that mean that supper is not going to be a treat? I don't think so! These savory pancakes were pretty terrific... I even resisted the temptation to add bacon... somehow! The main reason for making them, I will admit, was that I bought a little too much arugula at the weekend and did not want it to go to waste- it was just a little past it's prime. So I came up with the idea of combining it with sweet potato and making these yummy pancakes, seasoned with nutmeg and finished with a scattering of grated salted Ricotta, they were close to perfection. Fortunately, I thought of adding the tangy, caramelized cherry tomatoes- which brought them up to perfection and maybe a little bit beyond ;-)

I love the peppery and slightly nutty taste of arugula, especially when it is wilted-down for just a few minutes and becomes even more intense. It is great added into pasta dishes at the last minute, or ground up into a pesto- but it was really good combined with egg in these little pancakes- and here's how I made them so you can try it yourself some time...

First things first- the sweet potato needed a little bit of a head start, as it would most likely have not cooked thoroughly enough had it been added raw. So I peeled and grated it, then tossed it for 3-4 minutes in a dry non-stick pan. Why dry? Well, because I did not want any unnecessary moisture or oil in the batter later- and because sweet potato has quite a soft structure and carries moisture a lot in itself. So I tossed it and stirred it around until the color changed to a shade paler- you will be able to observe this really clearly. At that stage, the potato is half-done... and at that stage I added the arugula, which I had coarsely chopped. I seasoned it with salt, pepper, nutmeg and continued tossing and stirring for another couple of minutes, until it wilted down. And then I set it to one side to cool whilst I prepared the batter.

For the batter, I stirred together 3 tablespoons of flour with a little milk, and once it was smooth and creamy, I added 2 eggs. As soon as the arugula and sweet potato was cooled off, I stirred everything together and let it sit for 4-5 minutes. And in the meantime, I took care of those yummy tomatoes...

The tomatoes were really easy to make: first of all I dusted my frying pan with powdered sugar and as soon as it had melted, I added the halved tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Once they were stirred-in and had been lightly covered by the sugar, I added a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of dried oregano. I tossed them for 2-3 minutes at the most and that was it. Finished! Just tangy enough with plenty of freshness and bite still- perfect in combination with the pancakes... which I was ready to fry by now!

Being me, I used only a very small amount of oil as I have an intense dislike of greasy food, and in this case used olive oil as I thought it would be better suited to the slightly Mediterranean flavor of the dish. I patted the arugula and grated sweet potato down and kept my eye on the batter... the tell-take sign that the pancakes are ready to flip is when you see bubbles forming in the batter. I added a little more nutmeg before flipping them over and just a couple of minutes or so on the other side, until they were golden and brown and as delicious as you can see in the pictures!

Topped with the juicy tomatoes and a sprinkle of salty Ricotta, the combination was balanced and pretty terrific! Try them yourselves and see!

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