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Rena Patten

Rena Patten

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Buttermilk, bacon and kale pancakes recipe

Lifestyle — Posted 07/05/15

That's right – kale. Trust us, you won't believe how delicious these warming winter pancakes taste.

For a vegetarian option, leave out the bacon and add either grated Cheddar (tasty) cheese or crumbled feta or goats’ cheese. If you are a meat eater you could also substitute chorizo sausage for the bacon.

Makes: about 12


6 stalks of kale

1–2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 rashers (strips) bacon, rind removed and finely chopped

4 shallots/spring onions/ scallions, finely sliced

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1–2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)

600 ml buttermilk 

2 extra large eggs

2 teaspoons English mustard or horseradish

2 cups (450 g) self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

Melted butter, for cooking

Maple syrup, for serving


1. Thoroughly wash the kale, remove and discard the entire stalk. Finely chop the leaves and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the bacon and onions and cook until soft.

3. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper and continue cooking 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale wilts and is cooked. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and mustard.

5. Sift the flour and baking powder into another large bowl and make a well in the center. Slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture, whisking at the same time, until you have a smooth batter without any lumps. Stir in the kale and bacon.

6. Heat a medium-large non-stick frying pan until hot over medium heat. Brush with a little melted butter and pour in about one-third of a cup (2½ fl oz/75 ml) of the batter into the pan.

7. Cook the pancakes in batches until bubbles start to appear and the top is almost set. Flip over and cook until the other side is set.

8. Remove and place onto a plate, cover with foil and keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked. Wipe the pan clean with kitchen paper between each batch of pancakes. Serve warm with maple syrup.

Recipe from Cooking with Kale by Rena Patten, available now from New Holland Publishers.

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