Let’s make crêpes. He came out in a quiet summer Saturday afternoon, one of those typically Italian. We had a relaxing walk in Florence, a cold coffee, we chatted lightly over projects and upcoming holidays, searching for the refreshing shade of the elegant buildings. Multitudes of tourists were flowing next to us, an incredible mix of languages, gelato flavours, red cheeks and delighted smiles.
I had two options. Whip up for dinner the simplest crêpes you can think of to enjoy a few more hours in Florence, or opt for the longest and tastiest road. Guess what I chose. Every chance to cook something special must be sized, no matter what. It is just not because I find a deep pleasure in eating well, even though it’s the starting point of many an adventure in the kitchen. The reason is that every time that you can handle ingredients, flavours and smells which make you travel, you must take that flight. You can turn a cozy Saturday in a travel in space and time. If the traveling minds are two, you create dishes which can take you on holidays at the first bite.
We agreed on making buckwheat crespelle with a fried egg, roast ham and grilled vegetables. Our crespelle were close to the French crêpes au sarrasin. I have the most vivid memories of the only week I spent in France in all my live, in Provence, and those memories are all connected to food, food markets, food experiences and food shopping.
A couple of fresh eggs, ripe summer vegetable and a garden scented with flowers and basil created a magic.
The more I swirl the pan to make crêpes, the more I imagine myself hosting a crêpe party. A long table: in a corner a poor girl swirling a pan to make hot paper thin crêpes without a break, at the opposite end of the table a generous spread of possible fillings, savoury and sweet.
Usually the poor girl is me, but if you choose buckwheat flour and make paper thin crêpes, these won’t get rubbery and chewy when cold, so you can make hem in advance and indulge in your favourite activity, which presumably is trying every single filling combination.
- Grilled peppers and cheese with olive oil and oregano. I would use halloumi, if only I could find it here in Italy. I fell in love with it in London, so much that once I tried to sneak a halloumi slice in my luggage. Anyway, any slightly melting on grill cheese would do its best.
- Courgettes and mozzarella with a mint olive oil dressing. Chop as finely as you can a bunch of fresh mint and allow it a few hours to marinate in the olive oil, your best extra virgin olive oil. add also some minced garlic, if you dare it. Tear the mozzarella with your fingers, do not slice it, so it will soak the olive oil better.
- Grilled chicken breast, lettuce, lime and avocado. A tacos like combination, it’s refreshing and summery, plus easy to make.
- Porcini mushrooms with wild mint. If you want to keep strictly on the vegetarian side, this is a combination you won’t ever grow tired of. Sautée the chunks of porcini in a steamin hot pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil and fresh wild mint. I love the flavour combination of these burger by Green Kitchen Stories, you can even dare peach, tomatoes and avocado in your crêpe.
Now it’s your turn to swirl the pan and make the crêpes.
- 2 eggs
- 50 g of buckwheat flour
- 90 ml of whole milk, or water
- 15 g butter, melted
- 1 pinch of salt
For the filling
- 1 eggplant
- 2 to matoes, not too ripe
- 2 fresh green onions
- 2 tablespoons of basil pesto
- 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 8 slices of roasted ham
- 100 g of smoked scamorza
- 4 eggs
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl, then add the buckwheat flour and stir to remove any lump. Add the milk, the melted butter and a pinch of salt.
- Heat a non-stick pan and pour a spoonful of batter. Swirl the pan, when the crêpe is golden on one side flip it and brown also on the other side. Keep doing this until you finish your batter.
Make the filling
- Heat a cast iron skillet and grill the sliced eggplant, tomatoes and spring onions, cut instead into four wedges.
- Mix the basil pesto with the olive oil and drizzle over the grilled vegetables.
- Heat some olive oil in a pan to fry the eggs. Add the slices of scamorza at the end to let hem melt slightly.
- Now you're ready to garnish each crêpe with a fried egg, a slice of roasted ham and the grilled vegetables. Have fun!
If you have leftover crêpes they can become your dessert, too. You can even plan it in advance and make a double dose, just to be sure to actually have leftover. I would do that. If you have already set your dessert, keep your crêpes until the next day, you can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be to wake up and find them there on your kitchen counter. Spread with raspberry jam and you’ll feel like in the first day of your holiday. These are a few more ideas…
- Raspberry jam and icing sugar. Confettura di lamponi e una spolverata di zucchero a velo. My all time favourite combination, it is simple and classy. If you are so lucky to be able to pick fresh raspberry, make your own jam and consider yourself a queen!
- With a scoop of ice-cream and fresh fruit. I’m craving to make again this gelato, my best result since I was given a new ice-cream maker. Add peaches and lemon verbena.
- With chocolate spread. Not more words needed, isn’t it?
- With honey and chopped hazelnuts. If you have a sweet tooth, this could be your choice. Drizzle your favourite honey on your crêpes and sprinkle with chopped toasted hazelnuts.