Pat’s Green Pancakes with Lime butter

(Adapted from Otolenghi)

For the lime butter

  • 1/4 to 1/2 pack of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lime plus the juice
  • Smidgin of salt
  • A flick of pepper
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves or not as the case may be.
  • ½ garlic clove, finely chopped or half a tsp of easy garlic
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes or chilli powder

For the pancakes

  • 3 heaped tblspoons self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder (it doesn’t matter if you don’t use this but the pancakes will be less fluffy)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ½ tbsp butter, melted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin (you do need this)
  • 1 glass of milk
  • A handful of spring onions, leeks or chives, finely sliced
  • 1 or 2 green chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 big fist-fulls of green stuff (baby spinach, finely chopped kale or chard, or even broccoli.  Possibly nettles also, in April or May)
  • Olive oil, for frying

First, make the lime butter. Put the butter in a medium-sized bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until it turns soft and creamy. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Tip everything out on to a sheet of clingfilm and roll into a sausage shape. Twist the ends to seal, then chill until firm.  That always impresses.

For the pancake batter, put the flour, baking powder, egg yolk, butter, salt, cumin and milk in a mixing bowl, and whisk until smooth. Add the onion stuff and chilli to the batter. Put the green stuff in a pan with a splash of water, cook until wilted, drain, squeeze dry, then chop and add to the batter. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and carefully fold it in to the batter.

Pour a little oil into a heavy frying pan and place on medium-high heat. For each pancake, ladle two tablespoons of batter into the pan and press down gently. You should get smallish pancakes, about 7cm in diameter and 1cm thick. Cook for a minute on each side, until a nice golden-green colour. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat, adding oil as needed, until all the mixture is used up. Keep the cooked pancakes warm, fridge or freeze the ones you don’t eat.

To serve, pile up three pancakes per person and place a disc of flavoured butter on top to melt. Serve a flavoursome leaf salad on the side.  And someone else’s wine.