Spring greening is everywhere. From the emerging leaves on our trees to the new shoots of peonies and lilies, and buds on our daffodils. Despite last night’s inch or more of spring snow, I’m still seeing green. Even our refrigerator is filled with green vegetables and greens. All the better for making my morning Green Smoothie. And with today’s recipe for Power Pancakes made with powerhouse greens and topped with Sumac Lemon Yogurt Sauce, we’re enjoying lots of greens.
For the last few years we’ve all read and heard about the health benefits of kale. And we’ve eaten it in a number of unexpected ways: crisped as chips, raw in salads and blended into pesto.
Like me, you may have just assumed it was the healthiest of all the greens. But take a moment to look at the results of this recent study published by the Centers for Disease Control.
The study ranked 47 “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” based on their amounts of seventeen different health-supporting nutrients. Not surprisingly, cruciferous and leafy greens ranked the highest in nutrient density among the tested powerhouse foods.
Watercress and Chinese cabbage came in first and second. And our beloved kale, though it didn’t make the top ten, came in at a respectable 15.
1. Watercress 9. Romaine
2. Chinese cabbage 10. Collard Greens
3. Swiss chard 11. Turnip Greens
4. Beet greens 12. Mustard Greens
5. Spinach 13. Endive
6. Radicchio 14. Chives
7. Leaf lettuces 15. Kale
Save the stems
Depending on the variety, chard’s long and colorful stems come in white, gold, pink, orange or red. They’re just too tasty to discard. Besides, they make a colorful bed underneath Power Pancakes.
Cut them on a diagonal. Then sauté them just until tender in a little olive oil with garlic, a little water and salt and pepper.
Adapted from a recipe in Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.
Nutrient dense Swiss chard makes excellent pancakes. And gluten-free garbanzo flour makes them exceptionally light. Save those chard stems. Sautéed thinly sliced stems make a colorful and tasty bed for your Power Pancakes.
You can also make these Power Pancakes with greens other than chard.
- With tender and quick cooking fresh spinach, double the amount to 20 ounces. Lightly sauté it until just wilted.
- With Costco’s organic Power Greens mixture of baby kale, chard and spinach, use 10 ounces. Blanch it for 1 minute instead of 5.
- Either way, squeeze the greens very dry before continuing with the recipe.
Makes 16 two-inch pancakes,
serves 4-5 as a first course, 2-3 as an entrée Printer-Friendly Recipes.
Start to Finish: 35-45 minutes depending on which greens you use
1 large bunch Swiss chard
1 cup (½ ounce) fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems
1 cup (½ ounce) fresh parsley leaves and fine stems
2 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves and fine stems (½ teaspoon dried dill weed)
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons garbanzo flour or unbleached white flour
¼ teaspoon salt
6 twists freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
¾ cup (3 ounces) feta cheese, crumbled into small pieces
¼ cup coconut oil or olive oil for frying pancakes
- Heat the oven to 170 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Place it into the oven.
- Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Wash the chard. Remove the stems. Without the stems, you should have about 10 ounces of chard leaves.
- Put the leaves into the boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. When cool enough to handle, use both hands to squeeze the chard dry.
- To finely chop the garlic, drop it through the feed tube with the food processor running.
- Stop the processor. Add all the ingredients except for the eggs, feta and oil. Use the pulse button until the greens are coarsely chopped.
- Add the eggs. Process until well-mixed and finely chopped.
- Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl. Stir in the crumbled feta cheese.
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Put 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. When the pan is hot, use a #40 scoop (1½ tablespoons) or a spoon to place the batter in the pan. Flatten each pancake to about 2 inches in diameter. (My 12-inch pan with a 10-inch flat bottom holds 5-6 pancakes at one time.)
- Cook each pancake 2 minutes. Flip over and cook another 2 minutes. Transfer the pancakes to the baking pan in the oven. This will keep them warm while you cook the rest of the pancakes. Add 1 tablespoon oil each time before adding the next round of pancake batter.
- Note: If you can manage it, put another pan on the stove and sauté the chard stems while you cook the pancakes. Or wait until all the pancakes are cooked and in the oven. Sauté the stems in a little oil with crushed garlic, a little water and salt and pepper. Cover the pan during the first two minutes. Uncover the pan to finish cooking the stems and evaporate the water.
- When you have them, serve the Power Pancakes on a bed of sautéed chard stems. Top the Power Pancakes with Sumac Lemon Yogurt Sauce.
Lightly adapted from a recipe in Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.
Prepare the sauce before you make the Power Pancakes. This gives time for the flavors to blend.
Sumac Lemon Yogurt Sauce makes a luscious complement for raw, roasted and steamed vegetables. Also try it with grains and as a dressing for salads.
Makes 2/3 cup
Start to Finish: 5 minutes
2/3 cup plain, unsweetened whole milk yogurt
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ¼ teaspoons sumac
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together.