Pesto pancake and tomato layer (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)

Pesto_pancakes_layered_with_homemade_tomato_sauce
Pesto pancake and tomato layer. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

Hello again. What a mixed bag of weather there has been here since my last post. Plenty of rain to restore the water supplies with thundery downpours and a few sunny days here and there. The garden has bucked up again and the green grass has been restored.

Greenhouse_grown_orange_tomatoes_September_2022
Homegrown orange tomatoes. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

My recipe post this week gives a little nod towards the change of month and season. The greenhouse tomatoes are ripening now. I planted only 3 plants this year, but I am enjoying a steady supply to eat in salads. The variety is called Golden Zlatava, orange on the outside with reddish flesh inside. Whilst I haven’t grown enough for cooking this year, there are plenty of delicious locally grown tomatoes around, like these fantastic small plum tomatoes, which are perfect for sauce-making.

Plum_tomatoes_on_the_vine
Fresh plum tomatoes. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

The greenhouse basil really enjoyed the hot weather we had last month and has grown very bushy and bold. I love the flowers as well. Plenty of leaves to make one of my most favourite savoury sauces, pesto, which seems to be the best way to preserve the flavour of the herb once it has been frozen.

Basil_plants_in_a_Scottish_unheated_greenhouse
Greenhouse basil. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

There are 2 main components to the recipe this week: making the pancakes and making a tomato sauce. Both elements freeze well in case you want to make the recipe in stages. I made pesto in a previous post, so if you fancy having a go at that as well, here’s the link to the recipe Runner bean and pesto fritters (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Tomato sauce

  • 1kg fresh tomatoes, washed and chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • A selection of fresh herbs such as sage, bay, marjoram and oregano
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tsp caster sugar
  • 100g drained sundried tomatoes in oil, blotted on kitchen paper
  • Salt to taste

Pesto pancakes

  • 110g tapioca flour
  • 110g gram (chickpea or garbanzo) flour
  • 6g gluten-free baking powder
  • 1tsp salt
  • 65g fresh vegan pesto
  • 250ml plant-based milk (I used oat milk)
  • 160ml chickpea canning liquid (or other aqua fava)
  • Vegetable oil for brushing

1. First make the sauce. Put the tomatoes in a large pan with a lid and add the garlic and herbs. Heat until steaming, then cover, and simmer gently for about 45 minutes until very tender. Turn off the heat and leave to cool with the lid on.

2. Discard the herbs. Push the tomatoes and garlic through a nylon sieve, in batches, to remove the skins and seeds. Depending on the juiciness of your tomatoes, you should end up with around 700ml pulp.

3. Pour the pulp into a clean pan. Add the oil and sugar, heat gently, stirring, until boiling, then simmer for about 20 minutes until thickened and reduced to about 300ml. Leave to cool.

Steps_showing_the_stages_to_make_plum_tomato_sauce
Homemade plum tomato sauce preparation. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

4. Put the sundried tomatoes in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth, then stir into the cold tomato sauce. Taste and season. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Sundried_tomatoes_made_into_a_paste_to_enrich_plum_tomato_sauce
Adding sundried tomato paste. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

5. For the pancakes, put the flours, baking powder and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the pesto, and gradually blend in the milk to make a smooth batter.

5_images_showing_the_making_of_pesto_pancake_batter
Making the pesto batter. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

6. In another bowl, whisk the chickpea water until very thick and foamy, then gently mix into the batter to make a bubbly mixture.

7. Brush a small frying pan (15-16cm base diameter) lightly with oil and heat until hot. Spoon in 4-5tbsp batter, tilting the pan to cover the base with batter. Cook over a medium/low heat for 2-3 minutes until set and bubbles appear on top. Flip over and cook for a further 2 minutes until cooked through.

8. Layer the cooked pancake on a sheet of baking parchment on a wire rack, and cover while you make another 7 pancakes. Stack the pancakes on top of each other, between sheets of parchment to help keep them from drying out. If you are making the pancakes in advance, leave them to cool, then wrap them well and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

Steps_showing_the_cooking_of_pesto_pancakes
Cooking the pancakes. Images: Kathryn Hawkins
Stack_of_homemade_savoury_pancakes_stacked_on_a_wire_rack
Pesto pancake stack. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

9. To assemble, spread a pancake with cold tomato sauce, almost to the edge of the pancake. Transfer to a lined baking tray and continue the spreading and layering with the remaining sauce and pancakes. If you have leftover sauce, keep it to serve with the pancakes.

Spreading_pesto_pancakes_with_tomato_sauce_before_layering
Layering before baking. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

10. Cover the pancake stack with foil and place in a preheated oven at 190°C, 170°C fan oven, gas 5. Heat through in the oven for about 45 minutes. Best served warm. Top with fresh chopped tomato and fresh basil to serve and accompany with wild rocket and any leftover tomato sauce.

Close-up_of_pesto_pancake_layers_with_tomato_sauce_in_between
Tomato-filled pesto pancake layers. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

That’s all for this post. See you all again soon. Thanks for stopping by. Best wishes 🙂

5 thoughts on “Pesto pancake and tomato layer (gluten-free; dairy-free; vegan)

  1. Hello Kathryn, what an interesting recipe. I never thought of adding sundried tomatoes to tomato purée and I will certainly be trying your vegan pancake batter some time this week with my own dairy-free pesto. I hate running out of it, so I always freeze my fresh batches in individual portions. Do you? I will get back to you when I have tried the recipe. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello there. Good to hear from you. I hope you are keeping well. Thanks for your comments as always. You are very welcome. I am a real pesto fan and whenever I have a bunch of basil, I make a batch for the freezer. It seems to freeze very well without losing any flavour. I hope you enjoy the pancakes😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We had the pancakes last night and even my finicky husband found them tasty. I served them with courgettes. Truth be told, I took a short cut with the tomato sauce, organic but store-bought since our tomatoes mostly disappeared into the local woodchucks and squirrels stomachs… I am now enjoying the leftovers over an early breakfast. The recipe is going to be saved and I am thinking of serving the pancakes for Christmas in lieu of blinis.
        Oh, and on the subject of chickpeas, I have recently tried chickpea tofu. Have you? The texture, firm when cold, turns silky when warm. I have used it both plain in a vegetable recipe and also pan-fried coated with crumbs. I hope it is available to you in the U.K. so you may try it too 🙂.
        Have a good end of week, Kathryn, take care and again thank you for the recipe.

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      2. Good morning from sunny Perthshire. Today we have sunshine on our weather menu which makes a pleasant change from the damp and winds over the past week. Glad you liked the pancakes. I can see that the recipe would make a good blini alternative as it would be easy to make the pancakes smaller and thicker. Thanks for the heads-up on chickpea tofu. Sounds like a great idea. I will have a search. I have stopped eating most things soy-based but do miss tofu, so an alternative would be worth finding. All the best to you, and Happy Thanksgiving for the end of the month – can you believe we are in November already? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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