Day 54: Spinach Pancake

Look, a vegetable jelly roll cake!What fun!

Sure, I would make this differently another time - but I will definitely make it another time. It's a crepe-textured pancake rolled with sauteed spinach.

It's more special-occasion than every-day fare but still, easy to make. The results are considerably more impressive than the level of difficulty.

And it's surprisingly low in calories. I even checked the nutrition analysis - it's all that spinach and relatively small, but still generous, servings.

Active time: 30 minutes (including 10 to clean spinach which isn't necessary with bagged spinach and 15 when there's lots of open time but you can't really leave the stove)
Time to table: 50 minutes
Serves 8

2 eggs
2 cups skim milk
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons butter (original recipe specified 3 but 2 seems fine)
1 pound spinach, chopped
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (original recipe specified 1/4 teaspoon, think 1/2 is better)
Kosher salt
White pepper

With a hand mixer, blend eggs and milk. Add flour (see ALANNA's TIPS), baking powder and salt and beat lightly until fully combined. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, preheat oven at 350F. Place 1 tablespoon butter on a 11 x 15 rimmed baking sheet and place in oven. When butter melts, remove from oven, spread over entire surface. Gently pour batter into pan. When oven is fully heated, bake about 20 minutes or until golden but not brown.

While pancake bakes, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over MEDIUM HIGH. Add spinach in batches, adding more as it cooks down, until fully cooked but still bright green. Add nutmeg and season to taste with sale and white pepper.

When baked, leave pancake in pan. Lift the edges to make sure it's going to release. Spread spinach evenly over top, right to the edges. Roll pancake into using the long end. Slice crosswise and serve.

  • Flour settles so heavily that it should always be stirred until quite light before spooning out for measuring. Stirring it first means you'll actually use 25% less flour (in weight not volume) and the difference in cookies, bread, pancakes, muffins and other baked goods is noticeable - for the good.

Per Serving: 160 Cal (36% from Fat, 20% from Protein, 44% from Carb); 8 g Protein; 7 g Tot Fat; 4 g Sat Fat; 18 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 221 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 455 mg Sodium; 74 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3 points

Nutrition with 1/2 pancake ingredients: Per Serving: 108 Cal (45% from Fat, 18% from Protein, 37% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 6 g Tot Fat; 3 g Sat Fat; 10 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; 155 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 249 mg Sodium; 43 mg Cholesterol, Weight Watchers 2 points

  • The pancake was too thick - consider using only half the pancake ingredients. The baking time will be affected. Half may be too drastic - you still have to spread the spinach on the hot pancake so half may be it too thin and delicate, too easy to tear when rolling.
  • The original recipe called for a 10 x 14 pan so the pancake would have been really - really - thick.
  • Watch baking time, tonight was underbaked at 20 minutes but because recipe cautioned about over-baking, I took out thinking it was done enough.
  • There was too little spinach, probably because I started with a pound of home-grown spinach and then removed all the stems and heavy veins. A pound is probably enough if using baby spinach.
  • The spinach should be chopped before cooking - pureeing it made it too fine and dense but doing nothing made it too thick to spread.
  • Spread spinach right to edges to improve the appearance of the end pieces. Consider slicing ends off so all eight slices have sharp-cut sides.
  • Roll along the long edge if possible so spirals are thinner although this may not be necessary with a thinner pancake.
  • Serve on a bed of tomato or red pepper coulis, maybe topped with a spoon of hollandaise or similar sauce.
SOURCE The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice Ojakangas
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.