Buckwheat Pancakes, Eggplant & Mango Soba Noodles & Red Cabbage Fennel Salad
BUCKWHEAT PANCAKES WITH SPINACH, RICOTTA AND PINE NUTS, SOUR CREAM & HOT SAUCE
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PANCAKES:
2 cups buckwheat flour
1 large free range egg
3 3/4 cups milk
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Light olive or canola oil spray
FOR THE FILLING:
6 heaped tablespoons good quality ricotta cheese
225g spinach leaves (baby or English)
4 spring onions, finely chopped, including some of the green part
Good handful fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
3 tablespoons light sour cream
Fresh baby mint leaves to garnish
Hot sauce to serve
1.To make the pancakes, add buckwheat flour to a large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon beat together whilst pouring in the milk. The batter should be a slightly thick, yet still runny consistency. Season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour into a jug.
2. Spray a non-stick crepe pan with a little light olive oil and set over high heat, when almost smoking pour in just enough batter to cover half the base of the pan, quickly swirl the batter around the pan to coat the base evenly and thinly. Cook for 40-50 seconds, before flipping over using a palette knife. Cook on the second side for a further minute then allow to cool on kitchen paper. Repeat until all the pancake batter is used up.
3. To prepare the filling, thoroughly mix ricotta, spinach, scallions, mint and pine nuts in a bowl, season to taste with salt and black pepper.
4. To assemble the pancakes, spread a little sour cream on each pancake, top with a tablespoon of filling then add a splash hot sauce along with a few extra baby mint leaves and finely sliced spring onion, roll up.
SOBA NOODLES WITH EGGPLANT AND MANGO
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 fresh red chile, finely chopped
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup sunflower oil
2 eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch dice
8 to 9 ounces soba noodles
1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8-inch dice or into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 2/3 cup basil leaves (if you can get some Thai basil, but much less of it)
2 1/2 cups cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
1. In a small saucepan gently warm the vinegar, sugar and salt for up to 1 minute, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and add the garlic, chile, and sesame oil. Allow to cool, then add the lime zest and juice.
2. Heat up the sunflower oil in a large pan and shallow-fry the eggplant in three or four batches. Once golden brown remove to a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and leave there to drain.
3. Cook the noodles in plenty of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally. They should take 5 to 8 minutes to become tender but still al dente. Drain and rinse well under running cold water. Shake off as much of the excess water as possible, then leave to dry on a dish towel.
4. In a mixing bowl toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, half of the herbs and the onion. You can now leave this aside for 1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve add the rest of the herbs and mix well, then pile on a plate or in a bowl.
RED CABBAGE AND FENNEL SALAD WITH TARRAGON AND LEMON YOGHURT
1 cup (120 g) pecans
4 blood oranges
1 large bulb fennel
1⁄4 red cabbage, cored, leaves very finely sliced
200 g soft goat’s cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE TARRAGON AND LEMON YOGHURT
Small handful tarragon leaves, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup (95 g) greek-style yoghurt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Spread the pecans out on a pan and roast for 7–10 minutes, then roughly chop and set aside.
2. To make the yoghurt dressing, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl and chill in the fridge until needed.
3. Cut the top and bottom from each orange. Place on a chopping board and, working from top to bottom, use a small, sharp knife to cut away all the skin and pith. Take the fruit in your hand and, holding it over a large serving bowl to catch the juices, carefully cut each inner segment away from the membrane, letting the segments fall into the bowl – they should be free of any white pith or pips. Add the fennel, cabbage and pecans to the bowl and toss to combine.
4. Crumble over the goat’s cheese, then drizzle over the yoghurt dressing, season and serve.