vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)
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Savoury Pancakes With Wild Garlic (Ramsons)

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This is one of my favourite vegetable pancake recipes – I make it every spring with wild greens that I forage, such as wild garlic or white goosefoot. My friends love these crispy savoury pancakes, so I decided to share the recipe with the world.

You can make these tasty savoury pancakes with any vegetables you like. I’m making them with foraged wild garlic (ramsons) for this recipe, but they’re equally delicious with zucchini, shredded carrots, or even leftover roasted vegetables. 

These beauties are perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. They are quite similar to yachaejeon, Korean vegetable pancakes. If that’s something you like, definitely give this easy recipe a go!

vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)

Ingredients for savoury vegetable pancakes with wild garlic

For this vegetable pancake recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Wild garlic or other greens of choice – see the ingredient alternatives below, and keep reading to learn how to recognise and harvest wild garlic in nature (both Euro-Asian and North American species)
  • Tapioca starch or other plant starch such as cornstarch
  • White spelt flour
  • Sea salt
  • Water
vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)

How to make vegetable pancakes with wild garlic

To make these delicious vegetable pancakes, follow the simple steps:

Cut the wild garlic into 1-2 cm wide pieces. The softer the leaves, the wider your sliced pieces can be. If you use other vegetables, cut the larger leaves the same way and shred, thinly slice or mandoline the larger and harder vegetables (carrots, zucchini or fennel).

wild garlic leaves on a cutting board

To make the batter, mix equal parts of tapioca starch and spelt flour, add salt and water, and whisk well to combine and achieve a thick pancake batter consistency.

pancake batter

Add the chopped ramsons or other vegetables to the batter, and mix to combine and to get all the vegetables evenly coated with the batter. I like to use a wooden cooking spoon or a silicone spatula to do this.

vegetable pancakes batter

If you have a good non-stick pan, you can bake the pancake on a dry pan. If not, add a tablespoon of coconut oil or other fat of your choice. In both cases, let the pan (and oil) heat up first to get the crispiest surface.

Even though I am usually all in for oil-free cooking, in this particular case I don’t mind using some oil for frying the vegetable pancakes. Adding a bit of oil or butter to the pan makes them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – the perfect texture everyone loves.

Use a ladle or large spoon to portion the batter onto the hot pan. Distribute the batter evenly on the pan, so the thickness is about a quarter of an inch (6 mm). Let the pancake cook undisturbed until the edges appear set. Then, flip it and cook on the other side.

vegetable pancake batter on a pan

After flipping the pancake, you can press it a bit with a flat spatula/turner to bake it more evenly. This is optional – I like to do it because it flattens the surface and ensures a more even distribution of heat and evenly cooked greens. But you can skip it if you prefer the pancake to stay more airy.

vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)

Pressing the pancake after flipping it is helpful if your wild garlic leaves aren’t super young and tender – flattening it a bit will help get them properly cooked and soften them.

vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)

Cook until the pancake is golden-brown and crispy on both sides. Then, let it cool a little bit on a plate or a wooden board before cutting it into slices.

vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)

Ingredient alternatives

While this recipe uses wild garlic, you can absolutely get creative with your greens. Here are some delicious options:

  • The classic combo of shredded carrots, zucchini, baby spinach and some finely chopped scallions is always a great choice for savoury vegetable pancakes.
  • If you are feeling adventurous, try thinly sliced fennel, young Swiss chard leaves or kale (pre-massaged to soften).

Anything that is gentle or sliced super thin can be used raw in this recipe.

If you want to use chewier vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower, pre-cook them by quickly frying, roasting, or sauteing until slightly softened. Leftover roasted vegetables work great too!

The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility – even the measurements below don’t have to be followed super strictly, so feel free to improvise based on what you have on hand.

Instead of tapioca, you can use any other starch you like, such as arrowroot or cornstarch. I love tapioca because of its gooey, stretchy consistency when cooked.

Spelt flour can be substituted with all-purpose flour is that’s your preference (I don’t use regular wheat in my cooking, you can read this post about spelt flour to find out why).

Gluten-free option: If you need the vegetable pancakes to be gluten-free, you can substitute the spelt flour with fine rice flour or with your favourite gluten-free flour blend.

vegetable pancakes with wild garlic (ramsons)

Storing and reheating the vegetable pancakes

Storing Leftovers

While these pancakes are best enjoyed fresh, they can be stored for up to three days in the fridge. Let them cool completely to room temperature first. Wrap them tightly in a wax wrap or store them in an airtight container to preserve them well.

Reheating

To reheat leftover pancakes, simply warm them up in a pan over medium heat until their surface becomes crispy again. This reheating method works surprisingly well, and it’s a great way to save time for busy mornings. I sometimes even make a double batch specifically to have these delicious pancakes on hand for the next day.

vegetable pancake with wild garlic (ramsons)

Serving ideas

These vegetable pancakes are great as a snack on their own, dipped in soy sauce or homemade salsa. They also work great as a side dish for lunch or dinner. Here are some ideas for combining them:

Wild garlic foraging

When using the common names wild garlic or ramsons, I am referring to two plant species from the Amaryllidaceae family that grow in shady, damp deciduous forests of Europe, Asia, USA and Canada:

  • Allium ursinum L. – wild garlic species native to Europe and Asia, often referred to as ramsons or bear garlic, and
  • Allium tricoccum Ait. 1789 not Blanco 1837 – wild garlic species native to North America and widespread through eastern Canada and eastern United States, commonly known as ramps or wild leek.

These two species are very similar and can be used in the same ways.

European wild garlic species Allium ursinum, picked in northern Croatia.

Check out this post for all the details you need to know about foraging wild garlic in nature, how to recognise it, where to pick it and where to buy it if you can’t find any locally.

The best time to pick wild garlic is when its leaves are still young and tender, without a lot of fibre. In Croatia, the season typically starts around mid-March, and that’s when the leaves are the tastiest.

I noticed a difference between the pancakes I made with young March leaves and the ones I made in mid-April. The later ones were chewier, resembling young leek pancakes. Still super delicious! 

Don’t be discouraged by slightly chewier leaves – their natural texture is milder than many common greens. If you do use older leaves, just cut them into thinner strips for a softer texture in your pancakes.

Equipment for making savoury vegetable pancakes

To make these wild garlic pancakes, you will need the following kitchen equipment:

Yield: 3-6 portions (3 large pancakes)

Savoury Pancakes With Wild Garlic (Ramsons)

savoury vegetable pancakes with wild garlic

The perfect savoury vegetable pancakes recipe with wild garlic (ramsons). These are similar to yachaejeon - Korean pancakes and can be made with other vegetables too. Feel free to adapt the recipe to your taste and needs. Check out some tips in the notes section.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Chop the wild garlic leaves into approximately 1 cm (0.4 inch) wide strips.
  2. For the batter, start by whisking together equal parts of tapioca starch and spelt flour. Add a pinch of salt, then whisk in water until you achieve a thick pancake batter consistency.
  3. Next, fold in the chopped wild garlic leaves (or your chosen vegetables) until they're evenly coated. A wooden spoon or silicone spatula works well here.
  4. On a non-stick pan, heat a tablespoon of coconut oil or other fat of your choice. Alternatively, skip the oil and just heat up a dry non-stick pan for an oil-free version. 
  5. Use a ladle or large spoon to portion the batter onto the hot pan. Aim for a thickness of about ¼ inch (6 mm). 
  6. Let the pancake cook until the edges appear set. Then, flip it and cook on the other side.
  7. After flipping, you can gently press the pancake with a flat spatula. This helps ensure even cooking, especially for older and chewier wild garlic leaves. It also creates a flatter surface for even heat distribution. Feel free to skip this step if you prefer a lighter, airier pancake.
  8. The pancake is done when its surface on both sides is golden-brown and crispy.
  9. Cut the pancakes into cubes and serve them with soy sauce or your favourite dip. For more serving ideas, check out the post above.

Notes

If you are using older and chewier wild garlic leaves, cut them into thinner strips to get a softer and more tender pancake texture.

This also works if you make these pancakes with leeks instead of wild garlic. Harder (older) leeks can be sauteed before adding to the batter to soften them even more.

Instead of wild garlic, you can use other vegetables that you like. A combination of shredded carrots, zucchini and baby spinach is a great choice. Anything that is gentle or sliced super thin can be used raw in this recipe.

Cooked or baked vegetable leftovers are also good, just use them dry (without any sauce or cooking liquid).

Even though the oil-free version of…anything is generally healthier, I almost always make these pancakes with some oil. It just makes them perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. But if you don’t use any oil or butter in your diet, feel free to bake them on a dry non-stick pan.

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