Pancakes

The unexpected: Olive oil pancakes studded with Spanish chocolate. (Michael Robinson Chavez/Los Angeles Times)

Olive oil pancakes

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Note: To make lemon honey, combine one-fourth cup honey with one-half teaspoon lemon zest in a small saucepan. Steep the honey for several minutes over low heat and strain before using. Spanish chocolate is available at select stores and specialty markets.

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, preferably Spanish, plus more for frying
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate, preferably Spanish
1/4 cup honey, preferably lemon
Fresh mint leaves

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in the egg, buttermilk and 2 tablespoons olive oil until the batter is smooth, then stir in the chocolate pieces.

2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat. Ladle one-fourth cup of the pancake batter into the pan and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancake with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the second side, 1 to 2 more minutes. Place the pancakes in a warm oven until all are cooked and ready to serve. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.

3. To serve, drizzle the pancakes with honey and garnish with mint.

Nutrition information:
Each of 4 servings: 540 calories; 11 grams protein; 79 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 21 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 58 mg. cholesterol; 663 mg. sodium.