These pancakes are elegant and versatile, cashmere-like. Sweet leeks and lemony sorrel suffuse the nutty batter. I cook them sand-dollar size in a little clarified butter and spoon a dollop of crème fraîche on top. Pure luxury. —Blue Egg Kitchen
4 as a light main course
medium leeks, dark outer leaves removed
sorrel, lightly packed
whole-wheat pastry flour
Unrefined sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe
Heat a pan, preferably cast-iron, over medium to medium-high heat (i.e., water dances when sprinkled on the pan). Remove the top portion of the leeks where the leaves begin to turn dark green. Quarter them lengthwise but stop cutting immediately above the root. Dunk each leek in a bowl of water and swirl it about, repeating until the water is clean. Drain and pat dry; chop into 1/4? inch segments. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the pan, then add the leeks and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, clean and remove stems from the sorrel and cut in 1/2? strips. Once the leeks are soft, add the sorrel and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Set the vegetables aside to cool slightly so that they don’t cause the eggs to cook when combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the leeks and sorrel to the eggs and mix.
Scrape away any leftover bits from the pan, and, if necessary, raise the heat to medium-high. Melt 1 tablespoon butter. Drop the batter in large spoonfuls and spread to 2 1/2? wide. Turn when little air holes begin to form around the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. The pancakes are done when the centers are firm, about 6 to 8 minutes total. Add more butter before cooking later rounds of pancakes as necessary to prevent sticking.
Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche; its tang balances the pancakes’ richness. For drink, try a dry, aromatic white from northern Italy.
This is a basic recipe that you can use year-round and vary endlessly depending on what you have on hand. For summer, substitute basil and grated summer squash, olive oil, and fresh goat cheese (chèvre) for the vegetables, butter, and crème fraîche. If you use olive oil, keep the heat at medium or lower since olive oil has a lower smoking point and will degrade, causing harmful free radicals, at higher temperatures; adjust cooking time accordingly. In the fall, substitute escarole or another chicory and apple, ghee (slightly browned clarified butter), and Cheddar for the vegetables, butter, and crème fraîche. For winter, substitute green cabbage, caramelized onions, and duck fat for the vegetables and butter.