Spinach Pancakes with Lime Butter

spinach pancakes with lime butter

Who ever said pancakes were only suited for breakfast? These "grown-up" savoury pancakes are fragrant and lightly spiced, with spinach and quinoa and plenty of buttery goodness. An elegant meal that will surely leave a lasting impression, the pancakes are served with a zesty homemade lime butter to complete the experience. Complement the meal with fresh greens, a lentil curry, or grilled halloumi for an extra decadent touch.

This recipe is adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi, and I think my readers will know by now that this is one of the most treasured books on my shelf. It's all vegetarian too. I dare say that Ottolenghi, who is not himself a vegetarian, produces more vibrant, yet straightforward, vegetarian recipes than many of us seasoned vegetarians do. I've had my eye on these pancakes every since I cracked open the covers and can't believe I didn't get to making them until now. Savory pancakes are a weakness of mine, especially when you want to make things a bit more decadent by slathering on some freshly made zesty lime butter. Elegance awaits you and Ottolenghi never disappoints — with a masterful and fresh approach to accessible and familiar staples.

You'll have plenty of lime butter leftover that will keep in the refrigerator and can be used to enhance the flavor of steamed or roasted vegetables, such as potatoes, Brussels sprouts, squash, or whatever else suits your fancy.

lime butter with spinach pancakes

Spinach Pancakes with Lime ButterSpinach Pancakes with Lime Butter
Recipe by
Adapted from Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes From London's Ottolenghi
Published on March 10, 2013

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 to 60 minutes

Colorful, fragrant and delicious lightly spiced spinach pancakes served with a zesty homemade lime butter

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Lime butter:
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • juice and zest from 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
  • sea salt to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb (225 g) fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup spelt flour or unbleached white flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large egg + 1 large egg, separated
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies or 1 large jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • olive oil for frying
  • Prepare the lime butter at least 1 hour in advance of making the pancakes. In a small bowl, beat the butter together with the lime juice and zest, garlic, chili powder and flakes, cilantro or parsley, and salt and pepper until smooth and creamy. Scoop onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll out into a log. Seal with the plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.

  • In a large saucepan, wilt the spinach with a few sprinkles of water over medium heat. Drain well in a strainer and let cool. Squeeze out excess liquid and roughly chop. Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cumin, whole egg plus the yolk from the separated egg, melted butter and milk until smooth. Stir in the quinoa, scallions, chilies or jalapeño, and spinach. Beat the white from the separated egg until stiff peaks form, and fold into the batter with a gentle hand.

  • Heat a teaspoon or so of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, ladle a 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and gently use the back of the ladle to flatten and form the pancake into a roughly 3-inch round. Fry for about 2 minutes until golden on the bottom, then flip and fry for another few minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a 150°F oven until all of the pancakes are cooked. Add oil to the pan as necessary.

  • Serve the pancakes hot or warm with a dab of the lime butter, some fresh salad greens, and a lentil curry for a fantastic dining experience. Or, as Ottolenghi suggests, some freshly grilled halloumi.

Makes 8 to 10 pancakes (4 servings)
spinach pancakes with lime butter

More saovry pancakes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Vietnamese Pancakes with Vegetables, Herbs and a Fragrant Dipping Sauce (Bánh Xèo)
Spicy Potato Pancakes
Vanilla Oat Pancakes
Chickpea Flour Pancakes (Pudla) with Crushed Peas, Ginger, Chilies and Cilantro


Maya said...

Wow. These look WONDERFUL!! Very creative recipe...going into my 'one day when I'm brave enough I wanna try...' folder :)

CleverGirl said...

oh my.... these look sooooo good!

Swathi said...

Delicious pancake, love that butter.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

Oh yes, I want to try these and I happen to have spinach in the fridge.

disha said...

Hey i like ur blog thank u postin the reciepe can i make this without eggs
What should i add instead of eggs ?

Lisa Turner said...

Thanks for dropping by Disha. You can probably make these without eggs. I would suggest 1 pureed banana or a few tablespoons of ground flax seeds with about 6 tablespoons of water. There is also egg replacer, though I have never used it. If you try them without the egg, I would be happy to learn how they turned out for you.