Butternut Cornmeal Oven Pancakes
September 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
You might be able to guess where these came from. On Sunday I told you about how I tripled the amounts in this roasted root vegetables with red onion and tahini recipe. It was a great plan, I was going to have enough to last me the whole week! But then I started feeling a bit under the weather, and I basically ate these yogurt and fruit parfaits for three meals a day, and the occasional bagel (not homemade, unfortunately), bowl of tomato soup, or slice of pie for variety. When I’m not feeling my best, strong flavors are not appealing. I just want the basics.
Thursday rolled around and I had a LOT of squash leftover. I knew I could freeze it and add it to salads later on, but I was worried I might be breaking my cardinal rule of only freezing things you enjoyed eating when they were fresh. Even though the problem was not the recipe (I had devoured it when I made it before) but my own appetite that week, I was worried I still might dread pulling it out of the freezer. Our brains and tastebuds can be funny like that, don’t you think?
On my commute home I was scrolling through Instagram and saw Local Haven’s roasted vegetable pancakes, which basically involve pureeing your leftover roasted vegetables and adding them to your pancake batter. It was like Instagram knew what I needed!
I have had cornmeal vegetable fritters on the brain lately, and these seemed like a wonderful twist on that idea. I made the batter when I got home, subbing cornmeal for the quinoa flour in the original recipe. Then I got hungry for my yogurt and distracted by watching Bravo with Sam, so it was about 9:30 when I got back into the kitchen to cook up the pancakes, and I could sense a disaster waiting to happen. Me, tired, flipping pancakes for hours (remember how much squash I had? I made 5 times the batter listed below)…can you picture it? So I asked Google if I could bake pancakes, and Martha Stewart told me I could! Crisis averted.
This recipe produces a sort of pancake/scone/cornbread hybrid. I don’t have a cast iron skillet, and I imagine if you do the batter will bake up more pancake-y, for lack of a better term. But I loved them exactly as they came out of my aluminum pan–they are both moist and crumbly in a lovely way.
I plan on freezing some and using the wedges to make peanut butter or cream cheese sandwiches for lunch or dinner during busy weeks, or having some topped with Greek yogurt and granola.
If you roast a butternut squash for this recipe, you’ll end up with more than you need, so here are some other winning ideas for using it up:
- Butternut squash mac and cheese
- Roasted butternut squash soup with goat cheese
- Whole wheat scones (replace pumpkin with pureed butternut squash)
- Butternut squash ravioli
- Caramelized butternut, crispy kale, and fontina pizza
Butternut Cornmeal Oven Pancakes
Note: You could use other roasted vegetables in place of butternut squash, including beets (like the original recipe), sweet potatoes, or carrots. If you use a less sweet vegetable, you may want to add a few tablespoons of brown sugar. Here, the butternut squash provides all the sweetness the pancakes need. I also think mixing in fresh fruit like apples or pears into the batter before baking would be delicious. When I made these, I tried pureeing the butternut squash by itself (as pictured above) but the food processor couldn’t really move through it, so I eventually ended up pulsing the squash with the liquid ingredients in the food processor, and instruct you to do so below.
- 1 lb butternut squash (or 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash if you are using up leftovers)
- Olive oil for roasting
- 1/2 cup cornmeal (I like coarsely ground cornmeal for texture)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (if you use skim milk, try and use 2% yogurt to get some fat into the batter, or vice versa)
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 egg
- Heat oven to 475 degrees.
- To cut up butternut squash, cut off top stem and bottom end of squash. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut the squash in half horizontally, and then cut each piece in half again vertically. Scoop out the seeds (you could save them and roast them if you are feeling ambitious) and cut the pieces into cubes.
- Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Add squash cubes, drizzle with olive oil, season generously with salt and pepper, and use your hands to toss the squash until thoroughly coated.
- Roast the squash for 30-40 minutes, until they have some color to them and can be pierced with a fork. Let cool.
- You will have more than the 1/2 cup of squash you need, so freeze the rest or try out one of the recipes listed above.
Make batter and bake pancakes:
- Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees. Place a cast iron skillet or other nonstick oven-safe pan in the oven.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flours, baking powder and salt.
- Add 1/2 cup of the roasted squash cubes, milk, yogurt, canola oil, and egg to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until mostly smooth. Don’t worry if there are still a few visible pieces of squash.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together. Don’t overmix!
- Remove the pan from the oven, grease with cooking spray, and pour in the batter, using a spatula to spread the batter out to the edges of the pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Slice into wedges and enjoy with roasted apples, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or slathered with cream cheese or peanut butter.
- To freeze, wrap each wedge individually in tinfoil and place in a freezer safe bag. To reheat, let defrost and then heat in toaster.