Spinach, Leek, and Basil Pancakes

My family and I love Chinese food. If you ask my daughter and son what their favorite item is, they may say chicken wings. If you ask my husband, it may be a tie between chicken wings and scallion pancakes. If you’re wondering, I’m a fan of all of the above... plus vegetable fried rice.

Of course, going out to dinner or getting Chinese takeout all the time isn’t an option, so my mind has been running around with ways to make these favorites at home.  So why am I talking about Chinese food?

A long while back, I purchased a Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook. In the book, there’s a recipe for scallion pancakes (I love it). I’ve taken the base of the pancake recipe, tweaked it here and there, and played around with flavors. Why? Because in addition to chinese food, my family likes Italian flavors. We had a ton of fresh basil and some leeks in the fridge, so I immedialty thought that would be a great combo. Then I’m thinking about how my son doesn’t eat enough vegetables, so let me figure out another way to hide them... hence the spinach in this recipe. If you want to add some cheese like I did, you really should use fresh mozzarella. You won’t be disappointed!

Serves 4-6 as appetizers 

Shopping List 

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour*
  • 1 tablespoon (eye ball it) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups ice water
  • Heavy pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup of spinach juliened
  • 1/2 cup of basil juliened
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • Coarse sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt for sprinkling
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped fresh mozzarella

*Paltrow’s cookbook has many low gluten/gluten free options which is why the original recipe calls for brown rice and spelt flour instead of all purpose.


Whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl (flours, salt). Add in the olive oil and stir. Next pour in the ice cold water (without the ice) and stir until moistened. Go ahead and throw the greens in the bowl and the cheese and fold until incorporated. 

Preheat oven to 225 degrees.

Heat a pan on medium low and add some oil (I used a mix of olive oil and vegetable oil) to coat the bottom of the pan.  Using a cookie scoop, pan fry the vegetable pancakes about 4-5 at a time, making sure not to over crowd the pan. Flip after about 2-3 minutes checking to ensure they aren’t burning. Repeat on the other side and sprinkle a nice dose of coarse sea salt on top. Keep on a tray in a 225 degree oven to stay warm. Serve warm!