After Christmas and New year's eve,
you'd have thought it would be over with indulging, but in France, it just never ends!
The first week of January, we celebrate the arrival of the Kings with an incredibly rich (and delicious) pastry called "Galette des rois". It's basically a pie, with two layers of puff pastry filled with a rich almond cream. But that's not what we will be talking about today...
Then in February, it's Pancake day and "mardi gras" where we make loads of pancakes to fill ourselves up before the fast before easter… at least that's the tradition…
So this month I wanted to give you a pancake recipe, but making it a little bit more unusual .
This batter is actually usually made for " galettes bretonnes" , in Brittany. I really like the distinct flavour of buckwheat, that goes really well with savoury fillings.
Buckwheat is not wheat, it is a seed and is completely gluten free. It contains good amounts of vitamin B2 and B3, copper and magnesium. It is rich in soluble dietary fiber and contains about 11-14g of protein per 100g.
Buckwheat pancakes with leeks and spinach
Serves 4 (2 pancakes each)
330g Buckwheat flour
10g sea salt
750ml cold water
60ml Olive oil (to cook the pancakes)
4 leeks- tops removed
200g baby spinach
200g soft goats cheese- crumbled
8 Sundried tomatoes- cut into small pieces
First make the pancake batter:
In a big bowl mix the flour with the salt.
In a jug mix the water and the egg.
Make a little well in the middle of the flour mix.
Slowly poor the water/egg mix in the well and start stirring with a whisk from the centre to the edges.
Slowly add more of the water mix, still stirring well until the batter is soft. Continue with the remaining of the water until you have a smooth, soft batter.
Cover and let it rest for at least an hour in the fridge.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling:
Cut the leeks in half, and then in thick slices. Wash if needed.
Put the leeks in a saucepan with a teaspoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of water on medium heat.
Cover so the leeks can steam. In French we call that a "fondue de poireaux".
Let them cook for about 5 min or until soft, but still bright green. If you overcook them they will become darker.
Add the spinach, cover and let it wilt. Set aside.
Make the pancakes:
In a pancake pan, or a frying pan, put a teaspoon of olive oil. Let the pan get very hot, then add a small ladle full of batter. It should be quite a thin layer. Cook until the edges start to come away from the pan, then gently slide a pallet knife under the pancake to lift it and turn it over.
Once turned over, add some leek and spinach mix, a few pieces of tomatoes and some crumbled goat's cheese. Cook for a few minutes.
Transfer to a plate and either roll or fold the pancake.
Serve hot with a green salad.
Happy Pancake day!
Note: If you have some batter left over, you can make sweet pancakes. One of my favourites used to be a squeeze of lemon juice and sugar… Twist it using coconut sugar, shredded coconut, a few chocolate chips… Let your imagination guide you!