|Lingonberry Preserves = Perfect Compliment|
Recipe by The Cooking of Scandinavia
We interrupt our regularly scheduled blog post for a special announcement: Spinach is delicious in pancakes! I didn’t plan to make these, or even know about them. If I were a more disciplined cook and hadn’t gone to Ikea I might have never known. But let me back up a bit.
I’ve been curious about lingonberries for decades, because of my interest in Scandinavian cooking and cultures. So I was excited to find lingonberry preserves at Ikea last weekend. Being somewhat compulsive, I derailed my plans to make Mom’s potato salad and started researching uses for lingonberries. A quick look through The Cooking of Scandinavia recipe booklet revealed that Finnish people make traditional spinach pancakes and often serve them with lingonberries. Perfect recipe for the half pound of summer spinach in the fridge!
|Prepare Ingredients Before Combining|
Compared with my recently posted blueberry pancakes, these spinach pancakes are thin, small, and more egg-y than starchy. They make a more protein-based breakfast or brunch. The nutmeg is key in making the spinach pancakes compatible with the sweet-tart taste of lingonberry preserves. They’d be good with other tart berry jams like cranberry or blackberry, or even sour cherry. Or, serve the pancakes as a savory veggie side dish at dinner, with an optional bit of butter, like the Finns do.
|Pancakes Almost Ready to Flip|
On Thursday we’ll return to our regularly scheduled post: Mom’s potato salad!
serves 6 – 8 as side
serves 4 – 5 for brunch
serves 4 – 5 for brunch
makes about 22 3-inch pancakes
1 cup flour
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ cups milk
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. sugar
½ lb. spinach
1 – 2 tbsp. softened butter
Lingonberries or lingonberry preserves, optional
Melt and cool the unsalted butter.
Steam spinach about 4 minutes, until tender. Remove to cutting board to cool. Press out as much water as possible and chop finely. Press out water again, and chop a bit finer. The finer the spinach, the easier it will be to pour the pancakes and make them uniform.
Mix dry ingredients together in small bowl: flour, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.
Beat eggs together with sugar until sugar is dissolved and eggs are well blended. Set aside.
Measure milk into large mixing bowl. Sift in dry ingredients, whisking until just combined, small lumps are okay. Whisk egg mixture into the batter. Whisk in spinach gradually, adding small amounts by hand and stirring in.
Heat heavy skillet over medium high heat, or heat electric frying pan to 375 degrees F. With a pastry brush or paper towel, coat the bottom of pan with about 1 tsp. soft butter. When butter is slightly brown, drop 2 tbsp. (1/8 cup) batter into the pan with spoon, spatula, or 1/8 cup measure. Spread out evenly, if needed, to form a 3-inch disk.
Cook pancakes, 3 or 4 at a time, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Keep warm on a heated platter.
Add more butter to the pan as it becomes necessary while cooking the remaining pancakes.
Serve spinach pancakes as a vegetable course, accompanied by lingonberries if you like. Or, if you’re less traditionally inclined, serve for breakfast or brunch with lingonberry or other tart jam.