Green Pea Cakes with Apple & Fennel Salsa

IMG_6858Today, spring truly feels like it’s on our doorstep.  There are a few days in early spring, when it just feels like spring has really arrived.  Somehow in a matter of days the frogs are louder, and the birds are busier.  The horse pastures are vibrant green, while the crocii have opened up under the bursting forsythia.  The thermometer has moved into the double digits (celsius), and it feels sooo good!  To celebrate spring, and my sister’s birthday, I just felt the need to show it in food.

Just in time for St. Patrick’s, this is a very green dish, with a light, tart salsa in small mounds on top of bright green little pancakes.  I’m sure they should be called something like “Emerald Isles”.   Bonus: they work really well Gluten Free.

Click here for printable version.

Serves 4 (3 pancakes each) ~ Recipe for Apple & Fennel Salsa follows.

Ingredients:

1 c frozen peas

1 egg

¼ c light cream or milk

½ T oil

¼ c flour (use Amaranth for Gluten Free)

½ t salt

a few grinds of pepper

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Directions:

Bring 2 cups of water to boil.

Add in ½ t salt.

Add in the peas, cooking them at a simmer for 3 minutes.

Drain the peas in a sieve, and immerse them in cold water.  Drain & repeat.IMG_6838

Add the cooled, drained peas to a processor.

Process until almost smooth ~ there will be some skins.IMG_6839

Add in the egg & cream, and process.IMG_6841

Add in the oil, flour, salt & pepper.

Process until quite smooth.IMG_6846

Brush a skillet with a small amount of oil.IMG_6844

Heat the skillet over medium heat.IMG_6847

Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Add in soupspoonfuls of pea mixture to the hot pan, leaving a bit of room for the batter to spread.IMG_6854

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Ready to turn.

Cook for about 3 minutes, and then turn, continuing to cook for another 3.  Watch the heat of the pan.  The pancakes should turn golden, not brown!IMG_6852

Remove the cooked pancakes to a paper towel lined baking sheet.  Continue cooking the remainder of the batter in batches. IMG_6853

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Serve with a small mound of salsa and a drizzle of Crème Fraîche (follows).

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Do ahead ~ cook up to eight hours before serving – store in single layers separated with wax paper or parchment, in a sealed container in the fridge.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Salsa:

Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith apple, skin-on – julienne by hand, or using a mandolin (or grate using a medium grater)

1 small fennel bulb – cut into 1/4” slices, and then slice very thinly by hand, or using a mandolin

1 jalapeño – core, remove ribs, and finely dice

2 shallots – finely diced

2 T chopped chives

2 T chopped cilantro

2 limes ~ zested & juiced

¼ c olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, using your fingers.

Store, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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