Sea Beet is an annual, perennial herb found on the sea shores throughout much of southern Britain, and infrequently in Scotland. It flowers from July to September, and it is thought that this is the ancient ancestor of the cultivated beet varieties, like beetroot and spinach-beet etc. These Pancake Parcels are really tasty, and you can make them in the summer after collecting some of the leaves off the coast if foraging for wild ingredients.
The root has little value in cooking, but the leaves are an excellent salad vegetable, and should be cooked as you would spinach. There is nothing better than a day out at the coast and coming back with some foraged wild food to cook supper with, and these savoury Sea Beet Pancake Parcels are delicious. Pick the youngest and freshest leaves, they will wilt down after frying so you need a large quantity.
Sea Beet Pancake Parcels Recipe
- Large bunch of sea beet leaves
- 200g Mature Vegetarian Cheddar (grated)
- 100g tomatoes (sliced thin)
- 100g field mushrooms (sliced thin)
- 30g butter
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp grated nutmeg
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to season
For the Pancakes
- 150g Plain Flour
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt
- 1 Egg & 1 Egg Yolk
- 300ml Whole Milk
- 20g butter (melted)
- vegetable oil for frying
Making The Pancake Batter
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the egg, egg yolk and half the milk. Stir all the ingredients together using a wooden spoon, gradually folding in the flour. Whisk this well to become a smooth batter and then add in the rest of the milk and melted butter. Whisk vigorously and then leave in the fridge to rest and thicken for an hour.
Preparing The Filling:
Wash the Sea Beet well under running water, then drain. In a frying pan add some butter or oil, fry the mushrooms first for two minutes, then add in the tomato slices and then add in the sea beet. When the sea beet starts to wilt after two minutes, season it with some lemon juice, salt, ground black pepper and nutmeg. Take off the heat and leave ready to fill the pancakes. Plan to make the pancakes as soon as the main filling is ready and still warm.
Cooking The Sea Beet Pancake Parcels
Start by grating the cheese into a bowl.
In a medium hot frying pan add some vegetable oil. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into the centre of the hot pan and tip the pan around to make the batter run evenly over the surface of the pan, coating it thinly. Fry the batter until golden brown on the underside and the pancake edges start to come away from the frying pan sides. Turn using a spatula or flip the pancake over.
Into the centre of the pancake add a small amount of grated cheese and then on top add some of the sea beet, mushroom and tomato filling. Fold the far edge of the pancake towards you to cover the filling, then fold the nearest edge away from you to fold over the filling. Finish off the parcel shape by tucking over the last two edges. Cook like this for two minutes and then carefully turn the parcel over to cook for another two minutes. Gently press down on the top of the parcel with the spatula to seal the folded edges down when cooking for the last two minutes.