Tasty recipes and more

Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso

I was glad to find out that despite of the harsh winter, fresh corn season is here. As I’ve made a pretty large batch of herbs, almonds and citrus zest pesto, I’ve decided to combine the two in these tasty, savory pancakes.
Since I’ve used Kefir in the batter, I’ve decided to also use it in its fresh form, in a quick tangy-herby dressing for the pancakes.
If you’re into savory pancakes, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this special combination of flavors and aromas.

A few notes:
The corn: see THIS POST for tips about cooking fresh corn. If you can’t get fresh corn, frozen and thawed is the next best option. In fact, quite a few researches claim that frozen vegetables and fruits have higher nutritional values than some of the produce we find at the stores, as they are frozen very soon after picking.
The Pesto: even though many people refer to Pesto as a paste made primarily of basil and pine nuts, pesto can be made from any herbs and nuts. So mix and match according to your personal preferences.
For this recipe, you can also use good quality store bought pesto. The flavor will, obviously, be different, but that’s part of the fun.
I prefer not to add cheese to the pesto, as it keeps better without it. The cheese can be added before using.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink, highly popular in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe. Its’ texture is similar to buttermilk, but the taste is more acidic, which I personally prefer. It is considered to be healthier than buttermilk or yogurt, so that’s an added bonus. It is becoming more popular in the US, therefore easier to find. However, if you can’t find it, you can substitute with same amount of buttermilk, or yogurt (thinned with a bit of water).

Corn Pesto Pancakes
Makes: 12-14
Prep time: 10 minutes
Frying time: 10 minutes
1 cup fresh, lightly cooked corn kernels (or frozen, thawed))
2 XL eggs
½ cup Kefir or buttermilk
2 Tbs prepared Pesto (preferably from the recipe below)
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/3 cup fine grind cornmeal
Salt and pepper to taste (remember, the pesto is already seasoned)
3-4 Tbs oil for frying

1. In a food processor with the metal blade, process the corn kernels briefly, just to break down the kernels a bit. (Or chop them roughly with a knife.)
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and the Kefir. Add the pesto and mix well. Add the flour and baking powder and whisk briefly to a smooth batter.
3. Add the corn and the cornmeal, salt and pepper, and mix until just combined.
Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso
4. Heat 2 Tbs oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Pour about 2 Tbs batter portions and fry the pancakes until golden on both sides, adding oil if needed. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels, to absorb the oil.
5. Serve warm, as is, or with the Pesto-Kefir dressing on the side.
Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso
Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes Ronit Penso

Pesto Kefir Dressing
In a small bowl, mix 2 Tbs good quality mayonnaise, ½ cup Kefir (or buttermilk) and 1 Tbs Pesto. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. If not using Kefir, add a few drops of lemon juice.
Kefir Pesto dressing Ronit Penso Kefir Pesto dressing Ronit Penso

Herbs, Almonds and Citrus zest Pesto
The addition of citrus zest to the pesto was inspired by the wonderful Italian “Gremolata” mixture, which contains parsley, garlic, lemon and orange zest, and is traditionally sprinkled over Osso Buco. I find it adds a lot of flavor to the pesto. Try it at least once and decide for yourself.
* I prefer not to add cheese to the pesto, as it keeps better without it. The cheese can be added before using. For this recipe, I didn’t add any, as I thought it would mask the flavors.
* It’s worth it to prepare a large batch, as the uses for the pesto are endless beyond adding it to cooked pasta: add a teaspoon to a bowl of soup to get a fresh flavor, spread it on bread for tastier sandwiches, spread it over foccacia before baking, add to salad dressing, to omelets, to egg or tuna salads or to tomato and avocado salad…

Makes: about 3 cups
In a food processor with the metal blade, place 4 cups of fresh mixed herbs (I used basil, parsley, tarragon, cilantro and mint). Add 1 1/3 cups blanched almonds, 4 cloves garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 Tbs lemon zest. 2 Tbs orange zest, 1 Tbs salt and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Blend all together, scraping the sides of bowl a few times. Transfer to an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.(Placing a piece of plastic wrap on top will help keep the green color.)

Herbs, Almonds and citrus dressing Ronit PensoHerbs, Almonds and citrus dressing Ronit Penso Herbs, Almonds and citrus dressing Ronit PensoHerbs, Almonds and citrus dressing Ronit Penso Herbs, Almonds and citrus dressing Ronit Penso

Comments on: "Savory Corn-Pesto Pancakes with Kefir Pesto dressing + Herbs, Almonds and citrus Pesto" (40)

  1. Love veggie fritters and pancakes!


  2. looks like a great addition to our Memorial Day Cookout. Just a few vegan substitutions and we will be all set. Thanks!


  3. I’ve tried a couple of times to get a kefir starter going, but . . . MASSIVE FAIL! Do you make your own? I’m just firing up the kitchen for blueberry/pecan pancakes and poached eggs for SUNDAY TREAT BREAKFAST! Your savory pancakes look like a great idea for an easy dinner some night.

    Virtual hugs,



    • No, I’m not that crafty with Kefir. I use store bought – sometimes I get a local Russian Kefir, other times I’m quite happy with Lifeway Kefir, and there are other good quality ones around.
      Enjoy your Sunday treat breakfast. These pancakes are also great with a poached egg on top. :)


      • That’s kinda’ what I had in mind for your savories. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen kefir out here in the desert, but it was a staple when we lived in the Bay Area around San Francisco. If I could find some reliable kefir grains, I’d give it a whirl.


      • If you have any Whole Foods or Trader’s Joe, I’m quite sure they carry Kefir.
        I’ve also found out that in many “regular” supermarkets the managers are ready to provide items people ask for. Maybe give it a try and ask for it. Never hurts… :)


  4. Good ideas! Trader Joe’s is 160 miles RT from here, although we do get there once in a while if we are going to medical appointments in Tucson. I’ll ask at Safeway, too. Thanks for the tip.


  5. delicious recipe! I do it for my husband! thank you!


  6. This sounds very interesting! I’d never think to put kefir with corn! Sounds and looks good! 😊👌


  7. Yes, making different kinds of pesto is so much fun! And can add so much flavour to the dish! Thank you for sharing this lovely recipe! Your pancakes look extremely delicious!!!


  8. These look simply scrumptious Ronit! what a combination of flavors!


  9. ohlidia said:

    Those corn pancakes do look divine! And that scrumptious pesto? LOVE! I’ve saved this recipe on my desktop…just waiting for the fresh corn to hit the farmer’s market. Thanks Ronit! (Have I mentioned that my daughter’s best friend is Ronit? :-) )


    • Thank you Lidia. I’m glad to hear! I hope you’ll enjoy the results and will be happy to have your feedback.

      In Israel, where I’m from, Ronit is a female name that was very popular in the 60’s, so when I’m there there is no way of hiding my age! lol But if your daughter has a friend with this name, maybe it is now getting into the “retro” stage…
      I’m so used to it as a female-only name, that I was quite surprised to find out that in India it is a male’s name and there is a famous actor there whose name is Ronit. Live and learn! :D


  10. Yummy, I loved this recipe! :)


  11. I can’t wait to try your savory pancakes and your dressing sounds like the perfect accompaniment. Love your choice of herbs you used in the pesto.


    • Thank you Karen. I’m glad to hear you liked the idea. The pesto turned out really tasty with all these herbs and the citrus zest added a lot more flavor. It’s definitely a keeper. :)


  12. These look amazing- love the flavours!


  13. What a great recipe… it’s really original!


  14. They look delicious. The pictures remind me a little of the corn fritters that I occasionally make.


  15. Reblogged this on Chef Ceaser.


  16. These look so yummy!


  17. I make similar pancakes but with canned corn, next time I will add some pesto as well! Yummy!


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