I stumbled upon verzár in Transylvanian Feast, a cookbook written by Pál Kövi, while I was searching for savory pancake recipes. Verzár is thin pancakes filled with sautéed cabbage. The cabbage is seasoned with onion, salt, pepper and sweet paprika. The filled pancakes are heated through in the oven before serving.
For the pancakes:
- 350 g (~2 3/4 cups) flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- approx. 600 ml (~2 1/2 cups) milk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
The batter yields 22-25 thin pancakes (diameter 20 cm / 8 inch).
For the filling:
- A head of white or green cabbage (gross weight approx. 1,8-2 kg ~ 4 – 4 1/3 lbs)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp lard
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tsp sweet ground paprika
Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut into quarters and shred on the large hole side of a box grater. Salt and leave it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Heat lard in a pan and sauté onions until translucent. Add cabbage, season with ground black pepper, adjust salt, cover the pan and over medium heat cook, while stirring regularly, until soft and tender. Once the cabbage is done, stir in paprika, turn off the heat and set aside.
For the pancake batter in a bowl combine flour and salt. Add eggs and egg yolk, and start to beat while gradually pouring in milk to avoid lumps. Finally, with a wooden spoon stir in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. (Adding some oil to the batter makes frying easier. You don’t need to grease the frying pan before each pancake, you have to add just a few drops of oil to the pan before the first pancake.) Let the batter rest in the fridge for 15-20 minutes.
As the batter tends to thicken, check its consistency before frying, and add more milk if necessary. The consistency should not be too runny and yet, not too stiff. The batter is like a thin yoghurt drink.
In a frying pan heat some oil. When it’s hot, ladle some pancake batter into the frying pan. Tilt the pan to let the batter coat the surface of the pan thinly and evenly. Over medium heat fry for about a minute or until golden brown. Flip the pancake to fry the topside as well. Once it’s golden brown, transfer onto a plate. (Important: stir the batter every time before pouring into the hot pan because flour might settle.)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
Spoon cabbage filling onto each pancake, roll them up and place them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Put it in the oven for 10-15 minutes to heat the pancakes through. Feel free to serve them with sour cream.