Monday, June 11, 2007

Oven Baked Leeks and Fennel Pancakes

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 large leeks, white part only, washed and thinly sliced

1 fennel bulb, without leafy fronds, chopped

3 Tb water

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup sour cream (reduced fat okay)

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tb minced fresh chives

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the leeks and fennel. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables soften, about 7 minute. As they start to stick, add the water and stir well to keep the vegetables from burning. Add more water if necessary, and continue to sauté until the leeks and fennel are soft enough to puree. Remove them from the heat and let them cool for 10 minutes. Heat the oven to 375.

Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, beat together the egg, sour cream, and flour to form a smooth paste.

Puree the leek and fennel mixture either by transferring it to a food processor or blender and processing in short pulses until smooth and thick or by running an immersion blender inside the skillet to achieve the same effect.

Stir the leek-fennel puree, cheddar cheese, and chives into the flour mixture until smooth, making a batter the consistency of a milk shake.

Drop the batter, 2 Tb at a time, onto a nonstick baking sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each pancake. Bake until the bottom is golden brown and the top has set, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pancakes with a spatula and serve them hot.

Source: The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

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