These were supposed to be Swiss chard pancakes, but I always have spinach in my fridge (and I don’t like Swiss chard), so that’s what I made them with. Do what you can with what you’ve got, right?

Up until about the middle of last week, I’d been eating a lot of spinach as part of my pre-pregnancy diet. Seriously, I was eating it 3-4 times a week. As soon as I became pregnant, I lost almost all interest in spinach – in all green vegetables, actually. I don’t even really like to look at them, and the thought of even preparing them sometimes makes me want to gag. I have found that once I do get everything prepared and cooked, I have no trouble eating it. I just don’t like looking at it!

Which explains why I put these off until yesterday. When we voted on April recipes, this was one I was looking forward to. Spinach is one of the very few leafy greens I willingly eat. The dish seemed relatively simple – a savory pancake flavored with herbs and something green. Easy and quick to make, something anyone can appreciate, pregnant or not.

In France, these little green pancakes are called farçous, and Swiss chard is the traditional green filling. They can be served as a snack, as a side dish, or as a light main meal along with a salad. Well, that last option sounded absolutely terrible to me and my uncooperative stomach (and to Geordie, who likes some meat in his meals), so I decided that these would have to be a side dish.  I served them along with some sauteed mushrooms and a nice piece of filet mignon.

These pancakes are very easy to assemble; pancakes typically are, which is one of the things that makes them so great.

Milk, eggs, flour, herbs (fresh rosemary and thyme), garlic, and spinach.

Milk, eggs, flour, herbs (fresh rosemary and thyme), garlic, and spinach.

Everything but the spinach goes for a nice whirl. Once a smooth batter is formed, the spinach is added in batches until the batter is  nice and green-flecked.

Everything but the spinach goes for a nice whirl. Once a smooth batter is formed, the spinach is added in batches until the batter is nice and green-flecked. Now, it’s time to make pancakes!

A nice hot pan, a little oil - that's all it takes!

A nice hot pan, a little oil – that’s all it takes!

These cooked very quickly, so we had a nice collection of green pancakes in no time at all.

These cooked very quickly, so we had a nice collection of green-tinged pancakes in no time at all.

Dorie states that these are fine without much in the way of garnish or topping – and she’s right. There’s enough flavor in these little pancakes that they don’t need any boosts. But, I served them with a little sour cream anyway, just to add a little creaminess to them.

Spinach Pancakes

Spinach Pancakes

Perfect.

I’m really glad I made these. They smelled great while I was making them, but I still wasn’t feeling the whole spinach thing until I ate one of them. This has become pretty common for me – I spend the whole day feeling queasy and wanting to eat nothing, but as soon as I start eating, my appetite takes over and nothing is as bad as I feared it would be. I actually think these were exactly what I needed to get a little spinach into me; they’re mild but not bland, with enough flavor to be tasty without being overpowering. By themselves, they’re a bit on the light side, but they could be easily adapted go with various proteins. With a little cream cheese, they were great as a breakfast this morning!

They definitely need to be served as a side dish, though. They just don’t have what it takes to stand as a main dish, especially since they’re so adaptable to whatever protein dish might be presented. The herbs can be played with a bit; Dorie suggested parsley and chives, but I opted for rosemary and thyme, which was a great combination. Also, the topping can make a difference – we added a little BBQ sauce to our steak, and it actually went pretty well with the pancakes too! (And no, it was not an idea produced from strange pregnancy tastes – Geordie tried it before I did!)

These will be really nice to have in the fridge – when pregnancy hunger descends upon me, it hits hard, and these are handy to have when I need to put something in my stomach immediately. I get the feeling I’ll be making these again before this pregnancy is over! A nice way to trick my body into ignoring the greenery aversions and eat something healthy for a change. This week, all of my cravings have revolved around pizza heaped with cheese and fried chicken sandwiches. Comforting and delicious, perhaps, but probably not the best stuff for baby and me. Why can’t I have a craving for something healthy?

To see how the other Doristas did with their farçous, check out the French Friday links. Happy cooking!

Oh, and before I go, I must wish my husband a Happy Birthday today! Usually, I make him something special for his birthday, but this year, he really wants a good Japanese meal, so we’re going to give a local restaurant a try. Which I’m okay with, because cooking has been a little beyond my capabilities lately. Gasp! It’s just a temporary thing – once the first trimester passes, I should be feeling a bit like my old self again. I hope!

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