Spring Vineyards

Plutonic Love – Italia’s Mint Pancakes

Italia's Mint PancakesIf you’re looking for an alternative to the typical Shrove, Fat, Martedi Grasso waist extenders you could try Italia’s sublime mint pancakes.  These ‘fresca’ pancakes veiled with some mature pecorino and a drizzle of peperoncino oil are wonderful warm, great taken on a picnic and make a fab Sunday brunch after you’ve been pottering around in the garden.

Italia is our Abruzzo neighbour who despite her late years should write a cook book, such a wizard is she in the kitchen.  I am not sure if these mint pancakes were her own invention for her husband Domenico, who hasn’t got a sweet tooth, or a local farmer’s treat recipe that goes back to the beginning of time.

Harvest by Annunziata Scipione

 Harvest by Annunziata Scipione

It’s the sort of thing if I worked on the land that I could appreciate being served at 9.00 am after spending 2 hours sitting on my tractor or bent double weeding or hoeing.  Obviously the early glass of white wine she serves with the pancakes helps reach those parts that breakfast coffee doesn’t.

I am always a little surprised by how much mint there is locally  and how it’s used in dishes, one of my favourite combinations being duck and mint. Abruzzo’s favourite storyteller son Ovid makes mention of mint in his Metamorphoses.  Myntha was a nymph of divine beauty who was transformed into the plant in a jealous fit of rage by Pluto’s (Hades) wife Proserpina (Persephone) who was the ancient goddess of harvest.  It was Pluto who gave the plant the aroma as a lasting gesture of his love.

It’s funny that this tangle of two women still holds true today, like a lot of rural Italy alongside lemon verbena, mint was planted locally on banks to stop soil erosion.   I can’t imagine what would happen to harvest without the banks of these 2 plants  that surround the village, they save it from the death of local tarmac that ends up washed away down at the bottom of the hill when there is a heavy downpour.  Everything has a reason as they say, it’s not just there for my superficial love of walking past and inhaling deeply after a shower when the smell is divine and where I am transported to when eating these fresca pancakes.

Italia’s Mint Pancakes

Ingredients

135g plain wholemeal flour
Good pinch of salt
2 eggs
75 ml water
150 ml semi-skimmed milk
Glug of Olive Oil
2 large handfuls of roughly chopped mint

Method

If you haven’t got a food blender!

Sift the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well.  Add the salt and eggs.  Mix the water, milk and olive oil together and pour slowly into the flour and egg mixture until you have a smooth consistency.   Add the chopped mint and leave to stand for half an hour in the fridge.

Heat a little oil (groundnut or sunflower or if you prefer butter) on a medium heat and add a small ladleful of batter.  Swirl the batter in the pan when it’s set turn over and cook for another 30-50 seconds.  These pancakes are not skinny crepes in style a little bit thicker, think Farmer’s pancakes so do require a few seconds more to cook.

Serve with pecorino and peperoncino oil.

Sam Dunham

Sam Dunham

Freelance Web Content Manager & Copywriter at Samantha Dunham
Sam is a very lucky Mid LifeMum to A who is 3 and full-time freelance content manager and copywriter. Luckily her client mix allows her to combine her passions for photography, travel, food & wine within her day-job. She keeps a family travel blog when she has the time, MidLifeMum.me, her old Abruzzo blog being LifeinAbruzzo.com. She is co-founder of the social enterprises,the Abruzzo Blogger Community which organises the regional web awards, Red Gold Day and Let's Blog Abruzzo that creates blogger workshops in off the beaten tracks in Abruzzo.
Sam Dunham
Sam Dunham

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About the Author
Sam is a very lucky Mid LifeMum to A who is 3 and full-time freelance content manager and copywriter. Luckily her client mix allows her to combine her passions for photography, travel, food & wine within her day-job. She keeps a family travel blog when she has the time, MidLifeMum.me, her old Abruzzo blog being LifeinAbruzzo.com. She is co-founder of the social enterprises,the Abruzzo Blogger Community which organises the regional web awards, Red Gold Day and Let's Blog Abruzzo that creates blogger workshops in off the beaten tracks in Abruzzo.