In my twenties, I didn’t believe in breakfast. But today, I can still hear my mom say, “You should eat a bowl of cereal and a piece of fruit. It will give you energy for the day and keep you healthier as you grow up.” It turns out Mom was right. So are all those breakfast-loving Europeans in the Mediterranean countries. Italians, Greeks, and Spaniards take time out for breakfast.
These days, I’ve been on a berry kick. Remember the classic song "Blueberry Hill"? Yep, on my mind last night when I picked up strawberries and blueberries at the store. Ah, nutritious blueberries. These little gems are fiber-rich, chock-full of vitamin C, and more. Not only are they good for you, they are so sweet, so sour--kind of in between and fun to eat one by one.
Recently, I’ve had blueberry pancakes on the brain since I watched a film where the husband cooked up a batch and served his wife in bed. And then it hit me. No husband here (and I haven't trained my dogs to cook yet; they do bring me their bones to bed); but in my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil I included a one-of-a-kind breakfast recipe complete with blueberries, honey, and ricotta cheese.
Remember, I’m the one who doesn’t like to play chef yet I love to eat healthful food. So I took a deep breath, made my way to the kitchen, and whipped up this easy recipe from a dear Italian friend of mine who is a true blue (pun not intended) master in the kitchen. You can find this Blueberry Pancakes recipe, created by Gemma Sciabica, in my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil (page 208) and her book Baking Sensational Sweets with California Olive Oil.
1 ½ cups flour
1 ¾ cups buttermilk
¼ cup sugar
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons Marsala Olive Oil
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups blueberries
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk, ricotta, olive oil, and eggs. Stir just until the mixture is moistened. Fold in the blueberries. Lightly oil a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter by ¼ cups onto the hot griddle and spread gently into 4-inch rounds. Cook the pancakes 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter. Place the pancakes on a cookie sheet and keep them warm in the oven while cooking the remaining batter.