Sweet Potato Pancakes with Ratatouille & Pickled Red Onions

A mouth-wateringly tasty vegetarian recipe.

Another delicious recipe courtesy of Riverford Organic by Kelsey in the Riverford staff canteen. Pickling the onion in a little sugar and vinegar takes away the raw edge but keeps its bite; the vivid pink colour is an added bonus. Any surplus batter can be saved for the next day: the pancakes make a hearty breakfast, laced with a pinch of cinnamon and served with sliced banana and maple syrup.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 large or 3 smaller sweet potatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • light olive oil
  • 80g buckwheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 120ml milk
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • oil for frying e.g. sunflower
  • 20g basil
  1. Peel and very finely slice the red onion. Mix the vinegar and sugar together with a pinch of salt until dissolved. Mix the vinegar with the red onion in a shallow bowl. Leave to pickle, turning occasionally, while you continue.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes. Chop into 2cm chunks. Place in the saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover with water. Bring to the boil. Cook for about 15 mins, until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 220˚C/Gas 7. Wash the courgette and aubergine. Cut into 2cm chunks. Halve and deseed the peppers. Slice into generous strips. Cut the tomatoes in ½.
  4. Put all the veg in the roasting tray and mix with 4 tbsp of oil and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Roast for 20 mins.
  5. While the veg roasts, tip the buckwheat flour into a bowl and add 120ml of milk and one of the eggs. Whisk together until smooth and lump free. Season well with salt and pepper. Leave to rest.
  6. Crush the 2 garlic cloves with the heel of your hand, so as they just break open. Add to the roasting pan after the first 20 mins, along with the dried oregano. Mix well and return to the oven for 15 more mins.
  7. Take the remaining egg and seperate the yolk from the white. Whisk the egg white in a separate clean bowl until light and able to form stiff peaks (or use an electric whisk for speed, if you have one).
  8. When the sweet potatoes are cooked, drain them well. Mash until smooth with a potato masher or fork. Weigh out 400g of mash. Whisk it into the pancake batter with the egg yolk. Gently fold the egg white into the batter, keeping in as much air as possible.
  9. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in the frying pan. Dollop in 2 tbsp of batter for each pancake. You want 6 pancakes in total. You may have to do this in batches of 3 at a time, adding more oil as you go: keep the first batch warm in the oven while you work.
  10. Cook the pancakes until golden on each side and slightly risen (about 2-3 mins a side).
  11. When the veg has roasted, tear in the basil leaves. Adjust the seasoning, adding in some of the sweet pickling vinegar from the onions to add a bit of piquancy.
  12. Divide the pancakes between 2 plates and pile the roasted veg on top. Drain the remaining vinegar from the onions and garnish each pancake with a scattering of bright pink slices.
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