Carrot and sweet potato pancakes, poached egg & kale pesto

A really simple and light savoury sweet potato pancake and a recipe for kale and walnut pesto. No measuring is necessary despite that for the first time in my life I am the proud owner of a scale.

Serves 2

Pancake Ingredients

A large handful of kale washed and chopped
1 large sweet potato
2 leeks
4 small carrots or two normal
3 eggs
1 heaped tablespoon of chickpea flour
2 tablespoons kale pesto
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sage dried or fresh chopped
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Kale & walnut pesto (makes approximately 4 small jars)

1 large bag of kale
100g of walnuts
4 heaped tablespoons a hard crumbly, salty cheese; I used a pecorino
100 ml walnut oil
400 ml rapeseed oil
2/3 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon and the zest
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Pesto Method 

Wash the kale and cut the leaves from the stalks. chop roughy and blitz in a food processor until fine. Toast the walnuts in a pan and then crush them a little in your pestle and mortar. Add the walnuts, lemon juice, salt and cheese to the kale and pulse for a minute. It should be blended enough by now. Kale is quite tough and therefore the pulp shouldn’t be too chunky. However a pasty consistency will lack texture so keep an eye on it.

Now put the kale mixture in to a bowl and add the oils. You could use any combination of oils. The walnut is a must. A lot is required as the kale literally drinks it. Plus it is a high volume so it’s only really around 100ml per jar. Add the oil slowly until it is the right consistency (neither stiff nor sloppy!) Add the black pepper and salt to taste.

To store; take the jars and scrub with soap and boiling hot water. When the pesto is in the jars leave a little space and top it up with rapeseed oil. This will keep it fresh and stop it from discolouring. Store in the fridge and it should keep for a couple of weeks, if not more! I made it a week and a half ago and it’s still fresh. Once you have opened a jar, eat within a few days. It is great as a sandwich spread and accompaniment to pasta as well.

Pancake Method

First peel the sweet potato and chop into rough chunks. Scrub the carrots and chop as well. No need to peel. Put them on to boil. Check them after 10 minutes by poking with a fork. They should be soft but not falling apart. Drain, dry and cover with a tea towel.

Whilst the potato and carrots are boiling thinly slice the leeks and fry in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until caramelised and golden.

Mash the carrot and sweet potato season with salt and pepper, add the sage and combine the leeks. Crack one egg into the mixture and combine followed by the chickpea flour and combine again. You should have a batter that is quite thick. Less pancake and more a liquid mash. Rest for 30 minutes

Next heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and add the batter. 2 tablespoons per pancake. Gently fry for approximately 3 minutes each side.

Whilst they are frying poach your eggs. I think I have mentioned this before but take a cup, stretch the cling film over it creating a well, rub with a little oil or butter, crack the egg in, twizzle up the cling film and then poach for 3/4 minutes. A great way to poach an infinite number of eggs at once.

To serve, drizzle some pesto, put the pancakes on the dressed kale, the poached egg on top, season with salt and pepper and drizzle the remaining pesto on to the egg.

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