Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

The other night we had the strangest assortment of leftovers in our refrigerator: a container of left over ricotta, six ramps, 7 eggs, 2 bags of lemons, and almost nothing else.  I didn't want to run out to the grocery store and we were both in the mood for a dinner that was on the light side.  Suddenly I was whipping up the ultimate breakfast-for-dinner: lemon ricotta pancakes with sauteed ramps and sunny-side eggs!  Ramps come around only a few weeks a year.  They are essentially a wild garlic and they are foraged for in forrests rather than grown on a farm.  I am actually receiving a thank-you bunch of ramps this morning from a friend whose deal I covered while he was turkey hunting/ramp foraging.  I'm abnormally excited about it.  This lemon ricotta pancake recipe is delicious and easy.  It's a little annoying to whip the eggwhites separately, but the whole process was roughly 20 minutes start to finish.  Serve with pure maple syrup.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/3 cups ricotta
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 3 small lemons
1/2 cup cake or pastry flour
Butter (for griddle/sautee pan)

Whisk together the egg yolks, ricotta, sugar, and lemon zest.  Add the flour, and stir the mixture until it is just combined.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they hold stiff peaks.  Whisk less than half of the eggwhites into the ricotta mixture and then gently fold in the remaining egg whites.  Heat a griddle or sautee pan (we use a cast iron pan) with 1 tbsp of butter on medium low heat until it is hot enough to make a little sample drop of batter sizzle.  Pour the batter onto the griddle in even amounts and cook 1-2 minutes per side (these are best with a good sear on the outside but soft in the middle).  Keep your cooked pancakes in a 200 degree oven on a baking sheet until ready to serve.

Once finished with the pancakes, add a touch more butter to your pan and then some ramps and two eggs sunny-side up.  Both will be ready in about 3 minutes. 

If you're not in the mood for breakfast-for-dinner, this would be a great Mother's Day brunch!