Farro Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Maple Syrup

Farro Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Maple Syrup

Cheers for homemade pancakes!

Farro-PancakesAnd, cheers to video recipes that show you how to make these fluffy little gems in just 47 seconds. Life just got good. 🙂 Ok, well, this video is in Italian so you may have to put your student cap on for a minute but don’t fear, the English instructions and measurements are below!

This post is sponsored by Poggio del Farro. I created the recipe, photos and video—which you can also find on their website along with many other delicious farro recipes. The writing and opinions are my own. 

The great thing about pancakes is that you can make them in a variety of ways: craving a savory version, just try these zucchini pancakes with basil pesto or this version with arugula, gorgonzola, pear and walnuts. Not only are these great for brunch, but they also are a fun appetizer to be eaten in their original size or you can make them mini for to serve during a  buffet. Not to be missed from the pancake line up is a simple and classic whole wheat pancake recipe as well as this special strawberry and blueberry pancake cake. Yes, I did. I made a cake with pancakes. It’s seriously so good. 🙂 The latest addition to my pancake craze are these delicious farro pancakes.  Farro-PancakesI’ve been creating numerous farro recipes lately (just search “farro” on my blog). Once discovering the many nutritional benefits of this Italian ancient grain and how easy it is to replace refined white flours, I was sold. It also has a delicious nutty taste that I adore. Check for being healthy, check for being easy and check for being delicious. I really like Poggio del Farro’s organic farro flour for this recipe. They are just now breaking into the U.S. market. Watch out for them on store shelves.  

Farro-PancakesSpeaking of pancakes, I recently held a pancake cooking class for kids in Parma, Italy at the Gola Gola Food Festival. Most of them had never eaten a pancake before. I loved how curious and excited they were to learn how to cook. It’s so satisfying to see kids at such a young age get interested in making their own food. I hope that this interest for healthy homemade cooking increases for kids as well as their parents.  I hope that through this blog and cooking classes that I can make a difference towards forming good eating habits. ❤️ Here’s to hope for a healthier generation in the future and in the present!

Farro-Pancakes

Farro-Pancakes

Farro-Pancakes

Farro Pancakes with Whipped Cream, Strawberries and Maple Syrup
 
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These farro pancakes with homemade whipped cream, strawberries and natural maple syrup are a great alternative to refined white flour pancakes. You'll love their slightly nutty taste!
Serves: 8 pancakes
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (175ml) milk (cow or soy)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup (125g) Poggio del Farro Organic Farro (emmer) Flour
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar (white or raw cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 1 organic egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or coconut oil
  • Butter or coconut oil for greasing the pan, as needed
  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Pure maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Stir the milk and apple cider vinegar together in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together: organic emmer flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate medium bowl whisk together: egg, melted butter and milk/apple cider mixture.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until combined.
  5. Brush a large nonstick skillet with butter or coconut oil and heat over medium heat.
  6. Add ¼ cup of the pancake mixture to the pan and cook until bubbles form on the top and the bottom is golden; about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1-2 more minutes.  Repeat. (Depending on your size pan you can also cook more than one at a time.)
  7. Serve with homemade whipped cream, strawberries and pure maple syrup.

 

 

Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Blood Oranges and Pistachios

Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Blood Oranges and Pistachios

Farro beet crepes! As you can imagine, these beautiful crepes are naturally colored with beet puree. They are the perfect dish for Mother’s Day brunch.

Farro-Beet-CrepesEver since I learned how easy it is to naturally color my food, I have been experimenting more and more in my kitchen. I love the esthetic look of colored food—Bright! Fun!—I also love packing in more nutritious vegetables to every meal. Plus, it’s easier than you think—way easier.

This post is sponsored by Poggio del Farro. I created the recipe, photos and video—which you can also find on their website along with many other delicious farro recipes. The writing and opinions are my own.

I remember the first time I made a crepe; I was in high school. My feet on a step stool and my hands reaching  in the far corners of the wooden pantry shelf (where sometimes my older brother hid the best snacks), I ran across an old 1960s box with a crepe pan designed on the front—probably a wedding present. I was intrigued. I pulled it out, dusted it off and opened it up to find a little recipe book on top of the black crepe pan. That night I made cannelloni crepes for my family. I remember they turned out absolutely terribile. I was disappointed. My dad, on the other hand, continued to eat them. “It’s just one meal, Cindy,” I remember him saying. Ahh, my dad’s simple wisdom. He was right. I was just 16. In my lifetime I would have thousands of more meals to make and whole lot of opportunities to get it right.

Farro-Beet-CrepesThe second time I made a crepe was last year, almost 20 years later (wow does that make me feel old). I was recipe testing for Smeg {affiliate link}, an Italian design appliance brand. Since their small appliances have adorable colors, I wanted to create something stylish and colorful as well. My blender spinach crepes were so good that I brought them to my friends house where we created a beautiful outdoor aperitivo (Italian style happy hour).

Farro-Beet-CrepesSince spinach worked so well, I had to try it with beets. I also used farro wheat from Poggio del Farro for these crepes. I have come quite obsessed with Poggio del Farro’s products. Farro has lower gluten content and higher amounts of protein and fiber compared to modern day grains. I use their farro grains to make soups and salads, and their flours to make crepes, pancakes, chocolate chip cookies and homemade pasta, among many other recipes. Farro is pretty much replacing all other flours in my kitchen.

Farro-Beet-CrepesThe beet crepe on its own is not so beet-y tasting, so you can top it with a myriad of fillings from sweet to savory. My favorite for this recipe is fresh crispy arugula, creamy ricotta, juicy blood oranges, crunchy pistachios all drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar (affiliate link) and sweet honey. Pure deliciousness.

Farro-Beet-Crepes

Happy Mother’s day to all and especially to my mom, an extraordinary woman whom I admire.

Beet Crepes with Ricotta, Blood Oranges and Pistachios
 
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These beautiful farro beet crepes are the perfect brunch recipe to surprise your mom on Mother's Day.
Serves: 6-8 crepes
Ingredients
  • For the Crepes:
  • 1¼ cup (300ml) milk
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 9 tablespoons(5.3oz,150g) beet puree
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter + more for cooking the crepes
  • 1 cup (130g) Poggio del Farro Organic Farro Flour*
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Toppings:
  • 1 package organic arugula
  • 18oz (500g) ricotta
  • Orange zest from 2 organic blood oranges
  • 2 organic blood oranges, peel removed and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar (Affiliate Link)
  • Honey
Instructions
  1. In a blender or a bowl, add all of the ingredients for the crepes then blend or whisk until homogenous. Chill in the refrigerator for ½ hour.
  2. Add a small knob of butter to a crepe pan or frying pan. As the butter and as it melts over medium heat, swirl the pan so that the butter covers the bottom. Pour in ½ cup of the crepe and quickly swirl the pan so that it distributes the liquid evenly. Cook for 1-3 minutes then flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat for the rest of the crepes. Keep the crepes warm by putting them in the oven at a low temperature.
  3. Fill each crepe with some ricotta, arugula, blood orange pieces & zest and pistachios. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and honey.
Notes
Batter should be chilled in the refrigerator for ½ hour before using.

*If you are not able to find farro flour you can replace with other flour.

 

 

Holiday Quinoa Salad

Holiday Quinoa Salad

I’ve never found fresh cranberries in Italy, only dried. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem; after all, I only ever eat fresh cranberries at holiday meals like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yet, it’s now approaching 2 years since my last cranberry fix; two years since I’ve been home to the US during the holidays.

What do I love about homemade cranberry sauce? Well, for starters, its bright vibrant red color that brightens the table, then there’s that sudden shock of surprise when a cranberry pops in my mouth releasing its tart juices that slowly are taken over by sweetness and later rounded off by a hint of CONTINUE READING

Easy Baked Brie 

Easy Baked Brie 





How I Miss Thanksgiving!

Living abroad in Italy is exciting and exhilarating. I met Mr. Italicano here. I have made extraordinary friends here. I started my business while living here. I love the challenges and adventure that each new day brings while living in il bel paese.  I am grateful and I am thankful each day, yet…I miss Thanksgiving!

I miss the smells from the kitchen mingling with the sweet candles burning. I miss the chaotic sounds that fill the house: the clinking and clanking in the kitchen, kids laughter in the play room and lively shouts coming from the living room after a touchdown.

Easy Baked Brie Recipe One of my favorite Thanksgiving Day foods of all time is this CONTINUE READING

{Video Recipe} Erbazzone 

{Video Recipe} Erbazzone 

ErbazzoneIf you’ve ever traveled around Italy, you’ve probably discovered that every region, even each town, has special traditional dishes :: piatti. Erbazzone, a delicious spinach pie, is one of these unique dishes that originated from Reggio Emilia, a quaint town in the region of Emilia-Romagna. The easiest way to show you how to make this Italian delicacy is with a short video. Enjoy! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

I still remember the first time I ate erbazzone. It was over six years ago and my second morning of living in Italy, my new home :: casa. I remember walking into the town’s center for a cappuccino and a brioche (or croissant, as Italians most commonly call them.) They were out of my favorite kind: whole wheat with honey, so, I instead opted for the inviting little square slice in the display cabinet. I had no idea what it was. I just pointed and the person behind the counter said a weird name: erbazzone.

Erbazzone-1

Erbazzone-2It was love at first bite. Thin layers of crust surrounded cooked greens (Swiss chard and spinach, I came to find out). I had lived in Rome in university for three months and traveled quite a bit throughout Italy, but it was moments like these that always put me in awe. Italian gastronomy is so vast :: vasto. There is so much variety and diversity, it’s an endless flavor discovery.

Erbazzone

I devoured the square and asked for another. I was eating my vegetables after all, wasn’t I? Well, come to find out this little seemingly vegetarian slice of goodness is most often loaded with lard, and often times pancetta, an Italian style of bacon. My dad would love it…for those on the other hand who want a healthier option, you can easily substitute with extra virgin olive oil and still get all the great taste :: sapore. Problem solved.

Erbazzone
 
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If you want to try an easy, but authentic, Italian breakfast or appetizer, make this erbazzone recipe!
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • For the dough:
  • 3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) salt
  • 3 tablespoons (35g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup (210g) lukewarm water
  • For the filling:
  • 1 lb 10 ounces (800g) Swiss chard
  • 1 lb 2 ounces (500g) spinach
  • 1 bunch spring onions with stems (100g), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3.6 oz (100g) grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Parmesan)
  • 1 handful of Italian flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add the flour and salt. Stir. Add the extra virgin olive oil and water and begin mixing with your hands. Add more water, a spoonful at a time, if needed until the mixture becomes homogenous and comes together in a ball. If you press the dough with your finger it should leave an imprint that soon disappears; if it sticks to your finger, add a bit more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for ½ hour.
  2. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to boil and generously salt the water. Add the Swiss chard stems, cook for a few minute then add the leaves and cook for another minute or two until soft. Scoop the Swiss chard out and drain well. Cook the spinach until wilted. Drain thoroughly and press out the extra water with a wooden spoon against the holes of the strainer.
  3. In a large skillet, add the extra virgin olive oil and cook the garlic for one minute over medium heat. Add the spring onions and cook until soft. Add the spinach and chard and cook until the water from the vegetables has evaporated. Remove from heat and transfer the vegetables into a bowl.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) (static mode). Line a 20 inch (52cm or larger) rectangular pan with parchment paper. Divide the dough in two and roll the sheets out thinly so they are the size of the pan. Roll the dough onto the rolling pin and carefully lay it in the pan.
  5. When the vegetables have cooled, add the Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, salt and pepper; mix well. Put the filling on top of the dough and spread it out evening, leaving a little bit of an edge. Put the second layer of dough on top and crimp the edges. Prick the top layer all over with a fork, making sure to go all the way down; otherwise, the dough will puff up when baked. Brush with extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes; let cool then cut into squares. Eat warm or cold for breakfast, lunch or as a snack or an appetizer.
  7. Adattato da Tempo di Cottura

 

{Video Recipe} Pancakes with Arugula, Gorgonzola, Pear and Walnuts

{Video Recipe} Pancakes with Arugula, Gorgonzola, Pear and Walnuts

Making pancakes is so easy! Here is a quick 2 minute video showing you how to make perfect whole wheat pancakes.

 

 

 

 

When I think of pancakes, the first thing that comes to mind is a dab of butter melting on top of the warm stack then swimming in a river of natural maple syrup. Or, I think of garden strawberries :: fragole and mountain blueberries dropped on a pillow of fresh whipped cream. Either way, I associate pancakes with sweet flavors.

Pancakes-with-Arugula-Gorgonzola-Pears-and-WalnutsYet, pancakes are so versatile and one of the best ways to enjoy them are with savory flavors or a blend of sweet and savory, like this recipe. I’ve paired the arugula :: rucola which is quite bitter with the sweetness of the pear. I’ve thrown in some walnuts to give the dish a nice contrast between soft and crunchy. And, I’ve topped everything off with a creamy gorgonzola and crème fraîche dressing to simulate maple syrup. Drooling yet?

Pancakes-with-Arugula-Gorgonzola-Pears-and-WalnutsI’ve used this whole pancake recipe that is already on the site because after experimenting a lot with different recipes this is one that works great for me. Read that post for more tips and tricks, and always remember this important fact: flours absorb liquid differently. I’ve had my Italian friends ask me why certain pancake recipes that they had found on the internet didn’t work for them and my guess is that they didn’t adjust the liquid correctly. The indications below are subjective. You may need to add a bit more liquid to your mixture :: miscela or it may be the right quantity. The key for success is that the batter must easily drip off your spoon. This tip is obviously  for thin pancakes, which is recommended for my whole wheat recipe; otherwise, you risk that the pancake will be too tough.

Pancakes-with-Arugula-Gorgonzola-Pears-and-WalnutsFor the creamy gorgonzola and crème fraîche topping you can use a blend like I did, because I had both on hand; otherwise, feel free to use one or the other.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Have a wonderful weekend!

Pancakes with Arugula, Gorgonzola, Pear and Walnuts
 
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You’re weekend brunch recipe has arrived: Pancakes with Arugula, Gorgonzola, Pears and Walnuts.
Serves: 3-9
Ingredients
  • For the whole wheat pancakes:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 1 cup (125g) whole wheat flour (or all-purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • Butter, as needed
  • For the topping:
  • 3.5 oz (100g) gorgonzola
  • 3.5 oz (100g) crème fraĂ®che
  • 1 pear, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 handfuls arugula, washed and dried
  • 4 walnuts, shelled and chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • Balsamic vinegar, as needed
Instructions
  1. For the whole wheat pancakes:
  2. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
  4. Add the the melted butter and egg to the milk and vinegar mixture and mix well. Combine the two mixtures and stir until just combined, lumps are fine. For a thin pancake, the batter should run off the spoon. If the batter is too thick add a splash of milk or water. I recommend thin pancakes because thick ones may turn out tough when using all whole wheat flour.
  5. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a small knob of butter rotating the skillet so that it covers the bottom. Using a ¼ cup (59ml) measuring cup or ice cream scoop, measure out the batter and pour it in the skillet. Depending on your pan size, you’ll be able to fit 2-3 pancakes at a time.When lots of bubbles form on the top use a spatula to peek underneath. If the bottom is golden brown flip the pancake. Do not press down on the pancake with the spatula. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the bottom is golden brown.
  6. Add another small knob of butter and repeat these steps until you have cooked all nine pancakes.
  7. For the topping:
  8. With an immersion hand blender, blend the gorgonzola and crème fraîche together.
  9. In a small bowl, dress the arugula with a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Put one or more pancakes on a plate, top with the arugula followed by the gorgonzola mixture, pears and walnuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Buon appetito!
Notes
If you don't have crème fraîche you can just use gorgonzola. The servings 3-9 depends if you serve 3 pancakes per person or only 1 per person.