A savory pancake folded over a medley of Mediterranean vegetables.
Pancake as a wrap – why not? Obviously, not the kind of pancake that’s waiting to be topped with syrup or jam. What you’ll discover when you fry these up is how surprisingly tender they are, although they’re sturdy enough to take a hearty filling of flavorful vegetables.
I usually have an eggplant in the refrigerator, because, well, it’s Israel, and Israelis know a thousand ways to cook that little purple people pleaser. Bell peppers, too. And onions – where would we be without good onions? Those vegetables combine in many tasty variations, with or without garlic or tomatoes. I chose to combine them yet once more to fill savory chive pancakes. But I kept it fairly simple, adding only firm white cheese for a protein link that brings all the elements together.
Two stuffed pancakes per diner are plenty for the average eater. To show the filling in the photo above, I simply folded them over. But I like to roll them up, push the stuffing through one end, and eat them out hand like burritos. Either way, with a big bowl of tossed salad on the table, you’re set for dinner.
- 2 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 butter, melted and cooled down
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 2/3 cup cup milk
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped chives, or more to taste
- Extra butter or oil for frying
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup firm white cheese, sliced into thin pieces about 1”
- Olive oil for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
Make filling first:
Slice all the vegetables 1/4” thick.
Cut the slices in half.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive in a skillet, over medium heat.
Fry the eggplant until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Turn it over to color on both sides when the first side is golden. Add a little oil as necessary to keep it from sticking. Remove to a platter lined with a layer of paper towels.
Fry the red pepper, stirring, until it's tender-crisp – about 5 minutes. You may not need to add any more oil to the skillet.
Fry the onion last, stirring, about 5 minutes. The slices should be golden but not caramelized.
Make the pancakes:
Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
In medium bowl, beat the eggs and add the melted butter, oil and milk. Mix well. Add the chives and mix again.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour the wet mixture in. Mix to obtain a thick batter.
Heat a little oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Pour batter by the half-cupful in, and shake the skillet a few times, to distribute the batter evenly.
Fry each pancake 2-3 minutes, or until it has visibly risen, surface is well pocked with small holes and the edges are brown.
Flip the pancake over and fry another 30 seconds. Remove to a platter. You can stack the pancakes up.
Distribute the cooked vegetables over the pancakes. Place a few pieces of cheese over each filling. Top with a few basil leaves. Either fold over and place two pancakes to a plate, or roll the pancakes up, stuff them from one end and eat out of hand.
Tips and notes:
To eat the pancakes folded over on a plate, you’ll probably need to skewer the two sides of the pancake down with a toothpick. If you prefer to avoid toothpicks, thin the batter out with an added 1/4 cup milk (making it 1 cup and 1/3 and 1/4 cup). The batter will spread out more and the pancake will be more flexible. However, it will need only 2 minutes to fry, plus the 30 seconds to fry the second side.
You can prepare the filling a day ahead of time.