Kyle and I have been on vacation this week so we both have been celebrating a bit of a spring break. I have taken advantage of the opportunity to jump right into all things spring: cleaning, gardening, hiking, and giving up all aspects of my daily routine in favor of plowing through a long To Do list. In the spirit of throwing old routines out the window and turning over a new leaf, I made breakfast for dinner the other night. I know what you’re thinking: “BFD. Been there, done that.”
But this savory take on pancakes is anything but boring. It highlights seasonal ingredients and celebrates the freshness of the big thaw-out that takes place this time of year. I have to admit, this might not be for everyone. I showed these photos to some of my coworkers and they gagged at the thought of vegetable pancakes. But if you are like me and you love spring veggies, hopefully this dish will find its way to your table soon. It didn’t last long on mine, as the light, fluffy pancakes vanished from my plate almost as quickly as they disappeared from Kyle’s.
Topped with lemon tarragon yogurt sauce and fresh ground pepper, these asparagus ricotta pancakes offer the fresh zest and comforting warmth of early spring. Preparing this dinner, I couldn’t help but think of Easter last year. A trip to the Shenandoah Valley for a quick reunion with a dear friend. Beer tasting in the warm afternoon sun of another early spring. Shuffling outside in slippers and sandals the next morning through dew-kissed grass to pluck asparagus and rhubarb from the family garden, as the aroma of fresh brewed coffee wafted from the kitchen door. And we whipped up a batch of ricotta pancakes for breakfast. Why not for dinner too?
Asparagus Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Tarragon Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup ricotta cheese, drained
- 3 eggs, separated
- 3/4 cup milk
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp fresh grated lemon zest, divided
- 1/2 lb asparagus, chopped, roasted and cooled (Roast chopped asparagus lightly coated in olive oil at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes until tender and vibrant green, then cool)
- 6 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
- Combine ricotta, milk, egg yolks, and 1 tsp of lemon zest in a bowl.
- In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
- Separately, beat egg whites with electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, stir to combine. Add onions and asparagus to mixture. Fold in egg whites. Do not overmix.
- Heat a griddle to medium heat and coat with butter or olive oil. Fry pancakes in batches and remove to covered dish to keep warm.
- In a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, remaining 1 tsp of lemon zest and tarragon. Stir to combine.
- Top pancakes with lemon tarragon yogurt sauce and fresh ground pepper.
Have a beautiful weekend!