Growing up in Ukraine, ‘blinchiki’, or pancakes, were an every day staple in our house. They came in every shape, form, and flavour imaginable. I loved everything about them. The smell, the warm kitchen, the hustle and bustle associated with cooking them, the sweet anticipation of my turn. I was particularly fond of the thick ‘blinchiki’. Transported from the hot skillet straight to the plate of the lucky person, they were then promptly topped with a generous dollop of sour cream, the holy grail of Eastern European cuisine. Sour cream gave everything a creamy and tangy richness, and it contrasted beautifully with the hot pancakes. There were sweet cottage cheese pancakes, apple pancakes, savoury potato pancakes, plain pancakes. I often dreamt about them, so it is quite strange that I have never made them until recently.
One day when I was looking for ways to use up my surplus sourdough starter, I came across a recipe for apple pancakes on Simple Bites blog, and I just knew I was going to recreate my childhood favourite, the zucchini ‘blinchiki’. With lots of sour cream.
I found a sad looking courgette at the bottom of my fridge drawer that really needed to be used up. Then I sautéed a small onion until sweet and caramelised, and added it to the mixture, together with the coarsely grated zucchini, some chopped sweet red pepper, and finely diced spinach. The result was a stack of hearty and flavourful pancakes which we also enjoyed reheated the next day, or just plain cold. Patrick even used them as sandwich bread the next day, layering some pulled pork and cheese between two pancakes.
So here is the recipe, I hope you will enjoy them as much as we did. If you don’t have sourdough, Simple Bites offers a recipe version with commercial yeast.
- 250 g of unfed sourdough starter
- 100 g buckwheat flour (you can use whole wheat or plain too)
- 2 heaped tablespoons of butter, melted
- A good pinch of salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 medium courgette, coarsely grated
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- A bunch of spinach, finely chopped (optional)
- A handful of finely chopped red pepper (optional)
- In a bowl, mix well the sourdough starter, flour, eggs, and melted butter.
- Coarsely grate the zucchini, brown the onions in a bit of olive oil, chop the peppers and spinach.
- Add all the vegetables to the pancake mix.
- Fry a medium sized pancake at a time in a few drops of oil. Cook until the edges are set, the top is bubbly, and the bottom is nice and golden.
- Serve at once, with a generous dollop of sour cream.
Have a great Friday!