Time About 1 hour 30 minutes
Yield 50 to 60 blini, depending on the size.
Pancakes are a great vehicle for many vegetables. These are simple buttermilk/buckwheat blini with puréed butternut squash and sage whisked into the batter. I make them small and serve them as hors d’oeuvres. For vegetarian blini I top them with drained yogurt and a small spoonful of the sautéed winter squash with anchovies, capers and olives in this week’s recipes. You can also go the more traditional blini route and top with smoked salmon.
Featured in: Well's Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2011.
1 pound butternut squash, seeded, membranes removed
½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) whole-wheat flour
½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) buckwheat flour
½ cup (2 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or a combination of olive oil and canola oil
1 tablespoon slivered sage leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil the foil. Lay the squash on the foil, skin side up, and roast until it is thoroughly tender when pierced with a knife or skewer, 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the heat, allow to cool until you can handle it, then remove the skin and purée in a food processor fitted with the steel blade or in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. You should have about 3/4 cup of purée.
2. Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and whisk in the buttermilk and the puréed squash. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and whisk together.
3. Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat in a small skillet and add the slivered sage. Fry the leaves for about 10 seconds, until they are beginning to crisp, and remove from the heat. Allow the oil to cool, then add to the liquids in the bowl. Quickly whisk in the flour mixture.
4. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat and ladle 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. They should be about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Cook until bubbles break through; flip over and cook until lightly browned on the other side. Remove from the heat.
Advance preparation: You can make these weeks or even months ahead and freeze them. Stack them about 8 to a stack, with small squares of parchment or wax paper between each one to prevent them from sticking. Wrap each stack tightly in plastic, then place in freezer bags. Thaw in a microwave or in a medium oven.
Nutritional information per blini
30 calories;1 gram monounsaturated fat; 8 milligrams cholesterol; 4 grams carbohydrates; 76 milligrams sodium;