Cilantro-Cantaloupe Pancakes with Rosemary-Cardamom Apricot Compote

Light, fluffy, with just enough subtle melon sweetness and cilantro freshness, yet equally with enough filling buttery warmth to satisfy your cake craving on a hotter summer day… all without being too heavy or too sweet. (Also while being a very cheery and pleasing green color to look at, if I do say so myself!)

Ingredients:

Cilantro-Cantaloupe Pancakes

  • 1 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked in water for 6-12 hours and drained (***While presoaking your cashews is not absolutely necessary if you have a powerful enough blender or food processor, it is useful in ensuring the cashews are soft enough to puree into a suitable batter.)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh cantaloupe chunks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil for frying (about 1/4 tsp per batch of pancakes on the frying pan)

Rosemary Cardamom Apricot Compote

  • 4 fresh apricots, pits removed and chopped into smaller chunks
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup water

Special Equipment:

  • High-speed blender or food processor
  • Whisk
  • Nonstick pan (most preferrable; add a little more oil if using a metal pan or skillet)
  • Rubber spatula (use a metal spatula if using a metal pan or skillet)
  • Small saucepan

Prep Time: 30 minutes (***With optional pre-soaking time of 6-12 hours)
Yields: 4 servings

Preparation:

I. Make the Pancakes

  1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the cashews, salt, and baking soda until the cashews are crumbly, and the salt and baking soda are fairly immersed.
  2. Add the cilantro and melon pieces to the cashew blend and puree until completely smooth, then transfer the puree to a mixing bowl. Whisk the two eggs directly into the puree until completely immersed, then set aside.
  3. Heat a large nonstick pan on low heat, coating with a thin layer of olive oil (about 1/4 tsp) and then ladle the pancake batter onto the pan– about 2 tablespoons per pancake. (***Be sure not to overcrowd; I recommend cooking no more than 4 pancakes at a time in the same large pan!)
  4. Cook each pancake on one side for 3-5 minutes or until visible bubbles begin to form in the uncooked side; flip each pancake with a spatula and cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned. Repeat until all batter is used up, making approximately 8 pancakes. (***To keep the pancakes warm while cooking each batch, place on a paper-towel lined plate and cover with a large lid, more paper towels, or a microwaveable top.)

II. Make the Compote

  1. Add the chopped apricots, rosemary, cardamom, and 1/2 cup water to a small saucepan; heat everything together over high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until apricots are softened and the mixture is slightly thickened.
  2. Remove the compote from heat; plate your pancakes and spoon compote over each plate.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Yasmine’s notes:

Sometimes, we don’t hear of certain combinations and pairings ever being tried before simply because they don’t work. (i.e. There’s a reason umbrellas made of sponges aren’t the “gripping sensation that’s sweeping the nation,” for example.) But sometimes, we don’t hear of these things not because they don’t work, but because of a box everyone is so very used to working within— such that it takes a reason to break out of it.

In my research, I’ve seen green pancakes— made with primarily with spinach, starch, sugar, butter, and the like; I’ve seen melon pancakes, made with cantaloupe, starch, sugar, butter, and the like— and I’ve seen rich, decadent, fall-season apple cinnamon maple pecan pancakes made with ALL the usual things, offered right in the middle of hot, hot Texas summer and heat. I have not seen, as such, any combination of pancake that offers a lightness, mildness, and fat-and-salt detoxifying-balance to its inherent girth, particularly in summer months when you just don’t NEED heavier and incredibly sweet pastries to power you anyway.

That is, I have not seen such until now. All while yes, not sacrificing taste either! It’s lovely to have a fresh, subtle melon meets cilantro taste to these pancakes—apricots cooked in water adding just enough additional sweetness with sharp rosemary for contrast and grounded-spicy cardamom to the mix!

I would say that having better health and fitting lightness for the season, as much as tastiness, is a great reason to think outside of our normal culinary-vocabulary boxes. I hope when you try these pancakes for yourself, you’ll see the merit of this too. 🙂 Maybe even give their equally delightful Minty-Nectarine cousins a try!


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