Rachel’s recipes: Fresh herb & urda (ricotta) pancakes

Just when I thought urda (Ricotta) gnocchi were my new favorite thing, here come light & fluffy little urda pancakes with all kinds of verdeata (green herbs) in them, a smidgeon of flour and lots of protein for the folk that like to keep their carb count low. For Gluten intolerants, just make with 50g of corn flour/cornstarch/amidon and you are all set. Top with a poached egg for extra unctuousness and brunch away!

Now the inspiration for this recipe was Nigel Slater and his ricotta and herb cakes but He separates the eggs and then whisks the egg whites until fluffy, incorporates them back carefully and then fries them. I tried the shortcut method of slinging everything in one bowl mixing and dropping on a lightly oiled frying pan as for scotch pancakes and they were still great so this is what I will advocate as life is short and washing up wastes the planet’s resources!

Really these are a cinch and well worth knocking up. Top with avocado/ salad leaves a la Nigel Slater for a beautiful light lunch or a poached egg as I did for a truly luxurious yet still light brunch…mmmm…pass the fizz please!

Ingredients, makes 6 – 8 pancakes

eggs 3

urda or branza dulce would also work 250g

plain flour or amidon 50g

olive oil 2 tablespoons

chopped spring onions, parsley, dill, basil, chervil, leurda…whatever you find in the market 2 generous handfuls as you want a lot of green stuff not just a nod to herbdom

salt and pepper and a quarter tsp of nutmeg

Gadgets & Gizmos

A mixing bowl, a frying pan or griddle and a fork and spoon. Child’s play level of equipment required for these little morsels.

How To

Roughly chop all your greenery.

Gently break up the ricotta/urda cheese and mash with a fork. I sometimes add a tablespoon of yoghurt or milk to make sure the mixture is not too dry.

Mix in gently the eggs, flour, oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Heat your best frying pan and oil it according to how it usually behaves – good trusty frying pans require very little oil, ones that you accidentally keep washing with detergent (see washing up is bad on so many counts!) and stick like crazy require a vast puddle of oil.

Add generous tablespoons of mix and just pat them down a little with the back of the spoon onto the pan. When they are light brown gently flip them over taking care not to break them – they can be a little fragile – and cook until both sides are golden. Total cooking time is 3-5 minutes.

Place on a tray lined with kitchen paper. Serve warm with toppings or just munch them as they are. Make teeny weeny ones as canapés with a dollop of sour cream and a piece of smoked salmon. Pour over a home made tomato sauce and sprinkle with parmesan for a fast wholesome supper. Lots of ideas and variations to play with!

By Rachel Sargent, Guest Writer