I love the flavour combinations in these pancakes: creamy cool cheese with fresh dill running through it, smoky carrot lox, salty capers and tangy onions are truly a match made in heaven.
This recipe is a vegan take on one of my favourite bagel fillings – it makes for some very tasty canapés, or can be made into bigger pancakes for a light lunch.
It's super easy, too, and uses my fail-safe chickpea pancake batter, which I've adapted here to incorporate the beetroot.
For the carrot lox
150g carrots, peeled into strips
2 tbsp liquid smoke
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp chopped dill
1 tsp salt
Good grinding of black pepper
For the beetroot pancakes
100g cooked beetroot, roughly chopped
1 cup chickpea or gram flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut
For the dill cream cheese
150g vegan cream cheese – I use almond by Nush Foods
2 tsp chopped dill
Squeeze of lemon juice
Good grinding of black pepper
Small bunch dill, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, quartered
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Start by making your carrot lox. Place a saucepan of water over a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the peeled carrot and boil for about 4 mins, until the carrot has softened but still has a little bite.
2. Add the remaining lox ingredients to a baking dish and stir to combine. Once the carrot is ready, drain thoroughly, add to the baking dish, and stir to coat the carrot. Cover with foil, and leave to cool completely – you can leave it overnight, if you like.
3. Next, make your pancake batter. Add the beetroot and half a cup of water to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth.
4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to a mixing bowl. Add the beetroot, vinegar and oil, and gently whisk together until just combined. If the batter feels a little thick, add a splash more water. Leave to rest for at least 15 mins, or longer if you have time.
5. Make your dill cream cheese by whisking all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
6. When you're ready to serve, add a drizzle of light oil to a non-stick pan and place over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 2-inch dollops of batter to the pan for canapé-sized pancakes, or make regular-sized pancakes for a light meal.
7. Make the pancakes in batches, cooking for a couple of mins on each side, or until they're drying around the edges and bubbles are appearing in the middle. Flip, and continue to cook for a further minute or so.
8. Keep your pancakes in a warm oven while you repeat with the remaining batter.
9. When you‘re ready to serve, lay the pancakes out on a serving plate and top with dollops of cream cheese and a few shavings of carrot lox. Finish with a sprinkling of dill, capers and red onion, a little squeeze of lemon, and a grinding of fresh black pepper.
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