A Recipe for a Spring Day from Nigel Slater
Spinach Ricotta Pancakes, Soured Cream
spinach leaves – 100g
eggs – 3
ricotta – 250g
plain flour 50g
Parmesan, finely grated – 2 tablespoons
butter, melted – 2 tablespoons
basil leaves – a handful
parsley leaves – a handful
a little more butter for cooking
Wash the spinach leaves, and while they are still wet, put them into a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Cover tightly with a lid and let the leaves cook, in their own steam, for a minute or two. Turn the leaves over and continue cooking, covered for a further minute. Drain the leaves then squeeze the water from them with your hands and set aside.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl large enough to beat them in. Stir the ricotta into the egg yolks, then add the flour, the finely grated Parmesan and the melted butter. Chop a small handful of basil and parsley, stir them in, then season with a little salt and set aside. Finely chop the spinach.
Beat the egg whites until light and fluffy, then stir into the ricotta mixture together with the chopped spinach. Melt a little butter in a non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat. When it sizzles lightly, add a sixth of the ricotta mixture and pat it lightly into a small cake, about the circumference of a digestive biscuit, with the back of a spoon. Add another two. When the cakes have coloured lightly in the base, flip them over with a palette knife (do this quickly and confidently and they won't break), then let the other side become a soft, pale gold. The full cooking time shouldn't be more than a few minutes.
Repeat with the remaining mixture. Remove the cakes with a palette knife or spatula, rest briefly on kitchen paper, then transfer to a plate. Serve with soured cream if you wish.
From A Cook’s Book, published by Fourth Estate, £30