clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Sweet and Savory Pancakes with Olio Nuovo, Honey, and Pistachios

  • Author: By Amelia Saltsman | Photos by Judy Doherty
  • Yield: Makes 15 to 18 3-inch pancakes 1x


These easy-to-make cheese pancakes are delicious for brunch, lunch, supper, or dessert any time of the year. Made with a mixture of fresh and aged cheeses and topped with salty pistachios, honey, and good olive oil, they sparkle with contrasting flavors, colors, and textures. When prepared in November or December, this pretty treat is doubly rich in meaning.


Units Scale

For pancakes:

  • 1 cup (6-8 ounces) farmer cheese, whole-milk ricotta cheese, or whole-milk cottage cheese, drained (See note.)
  • 2 ounces ricotta salata, kashkaval (AKA caciocavallo), or other salty semihard cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour


  • Honey (orange blossom honey would be very nice)
  • Olio nuovo, or other delicious olive oil
  • Roasted salted pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped (For nut-free version, substitute finishing salt, such as Maldon, for pistachios)


Note: You may use farmer cheese, whole-milk ricotta, or whole-milk cottage cheese. If using ricotta or cottage cheese, drain it in a sieve set over a bowl for at least one hour or overnight in the refrigerator before making the batter. Batter consistency may be stiffer or looser depending on your choice of cheeses, but the pancakes will be delicious regardless. If you prefer, you can make the batter ahead and refrigerate up to overnight.

Using large-hole side of box grater, grate enough cheese to yield lightly packed ½ cup.

In mixing bowl large enough to contain all pancake ingredients, whisk eggs until well-blended. Stir in farmer cheese and grated salty cheese, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 tablespoon honey. Mix thoroughly. Stir in flour until just blended.

Have the batter, a soup spoon, a paper towel–lined plate or sheet pan, and a pancake turner near stove. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil into a 12-inch skillet set over medium heat. When oil liquefies and shimmers, add a teeny bit of batter. If you immediately hear a good sizzle and the oil bubbles at batter’s edge, you’re ready to cook.

Using a soup spoon, add generous spoonful of batter to skillet and gently flatten into 3-inch pancake. Repeat, leaving enough room between pancakes so you will be able to turn them easily. I usually can manage 5 pancakes to a 12-inch pan.

Cook pancakes until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Oil should continue bubbling nicely at edges of pancakes, but lower heat as necessary to prevent burning. Flip pancakes and cook second side, about 2 minutes longer. Remove pancakes to towel-lined plate to drain briefly. Repeat with remaining batter, adding 1 tablespoon oil to the pan between batches.

To serve: Warm honey briefly in microwave or in pan of hot water. Arrange pancakes on a pretty platter or divide among 6 individual plates. Drizzle pancakes liberally with olio nuovo and honey, and scatter chopped salted nuts (or the healthy pinch of finishing salt) over pancakes.


Recipe © 2020, Amelia Saltsman

Scroll To Top