nori pancakes with st tola cheese and mixed salad leaves

An imaginative dish which can be prepared in advance and finished in the oven while a starter is being served. The amount of seaweed used is determined by the chef, which gives plenty of space for individual tastes.

First prepare the roasted red peppers and the tomato sauce as they each need to cook for nearly an hour. While they are cooking prepare the pancakes.

Seaweed used: nori

Serves 4

For the nori

About 100g (31/2 oz) of freshly harvested nori, washed and steamed for 30 minutes or 3 sheets of dried nori soaked briefly in water and roughly torn.

For the tomato sauce

2 tins tomatoes, standard size
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 small onions, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
salt and pepper to season

To prepare the tomato sauce

1. Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer very gently, uncovered for 40 – 60 mins.

2. The sauce is ready when it has reduced by about half and the onions are tender. Taste and season again, if necessary..

3. Add a couple of tablespoons of the prepared nori to the tomato sauce and blend with a hand or electric blender. Taste and add a little more nori if required.

4. Repeat this process until you have a blend and taste that suits you. Reserve remaining nori for another recipe, for example, pâté or pesto.

Roasted red peppers, onions and garlic

3 red peppers, halved, seeds removed
and sliced thinly lengthways
4 cloves garlic sliced roughly
2 large onions sliced roughly
3 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to season

To prepare the roasted red peppers, onions and garlic

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4

1. Place the peppers, garlic, onion, rosemary and thyme sprigs in an ovenproof dish. Add the olive oil and seasoning and toss gently to coat the vegetables in oil.

2. Place in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes or until the skins of the peppers are just turning black.


200ml (7fl oz) milk mixed with
75ml (3fl oz) water
2 large eggs
pinch of salt
115g (4oz) plain flour
butter to cook pancakes
125g (41/4 oz) St Tola cheese or any mature
goats’ cheese

To prepare the pancakes

1. Place the milk, water and eggs into a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Add the salt to the flour and blend for a minute until it becomes a smooth batter. Pour the batter into a jug.

2. Heat a little butter in the frying pan over high heat, until hot. Turn the heat down and add a couple of tablespoons of batter to the pan. By swirling it around you should be able to get a thin coating of the batter around the whole frying pan. You may need to add more at this stage.

3. After about one minute use a spatula to turn the pancake. Give the second side another minute or two. Remove to a plate.

4. Continue the process until you have cooked eight pancakes.

Putting it all together

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7.

1. Take one pancake and put about two generous tablespoons of the tomato and nori sauce on it spreading evenly. Add a sprinkling of roasted red peppers and onions on top.

2. Crumble some goats’ cheese onto this and roll the pancake.

3. Repeat for each pancake, and place in one or two buttered ovenproof dishes.

Cover the dishes with foil or parchment to prevent the pancakes from drying out as they heat up. Cook for 30 minutes or until dish is thoroughly hot.

Cooks Tip

Any leftover sauce and vegetables make a great topping for pizza.

Salad leaves and balsmic vinaigrette

Any generous mix of salad leaves, organic if possible. Try to include some rocket.
50ml (2fl oz) balsamic vinegar
150ml ( 1/4 pint) olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of mixed seaweeds

This quantity will be more than you need, but the dressing will keep for your next salad or you can make half.

To prepare the salad with balsamic vinaigrette

Combine all the ingredients in a screw – topped jar and shake vigorously. Add to the salad leaves just before serving.

Recipe from Maire Nunan, teacher. Maire put this dish together when our Japanese photographer Yumiko arrived in her kitchen with a bag of freshly harvested sleabhac (nori).