Crepes were never the sort of thing I used to think about making for lunch or dinner. Dessert, sure. A snack, maybe. They never really seemed substantial enough for an actual meal. Silly me. I just hadn’t made the right crepe yet.
There are so many different types of crepes out there. Sweet crepes, savory crepes, crepes made from corn, or even fermented rice and lentils, as in the South Indian dosa. All of these are definitely delicious, but when it comes to a good solid dinner crepe, my favorite is a hearty buckwheat crepe. Buckwheat, despite what it’s name implies, is actually not wheat. In fact, it’s a plant more closely related to rhubarb and sorrel. It has a much nuttier, earthier flavor than standard wheat flour, and in my opinion, makes for one tasty crepe. Filled with prosciutto, melty fontina and topped with a perfect little salad of arugula and peaches - that’s a crepe I can definitely get behind. Especially if it’s accompanied by a nice glass of hard cider.
Besides their general deliciousness, one of the best things about crepes is that they are infinitely customizable. I’ll admit, I’ve been known to swap out the milk in my crepe batter for beer, which lends them a nice malty flavor. And fillings, well, you can really go crazy there. Fontina and prosciutto are fantastic, but really, the possibilities are endless. Roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, gorgonzola - if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can even crack an egg onto the crepe right after flipping, and cook until it has a perfectly soft-cooked yolk (I mean, putting an egg on top of anything automatically makes it better, that’s just common sense). And if crepes for dinner isn’t enough, add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to your crepe batter, and whip up some dessert crepes, topped with fresh fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar.
Buckwheat Crepes with Fontina, Prosciutto and Arugula Peach Salad
makes 3 medium crepes
- ½ cup buckwheat flour (I like to use the flour from Lonesome Stone Milling)
- ½ cup milk*
- 2 eggs
- ¼ tsp salt
- butter for pan
- ¾ cup grated fontina cheese
- 3 thin slices prosciutto
*can add additional milk if a thinner batter is desired
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- 4 oz arugula
- 1 peach, pitted and thinly sliced
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour, milk, eggs, and salt.
2. Heat a 9-10 inch skillet over medium heat. Melt a small amount of butter in the pan, swirling to coat the bottom. Pour ⅓ of the batter (a scant ½ cup) into the pan, quickly spreading the batter toward the edges of the pan (if you aren’t fast enough to spread the batter all the way to the edges before it sets, you’ll end up with a slightly smaller, thicker crepe. Never fear, it will still be delicious! If you’re having trouble, thinning the batter with some extra milk will make spreading it easier.)
3. Cook until bottom of crepe is set, about 1 minute, then carefully flip. Top with ¼ cup grated cheese and one slice of prosciutto in the center of the crepe. Continue to cook until cheese is melted, about 2-3 additional minutes. Using a spatula, fold the edges of the crepe up toward the center. Slide the crepe onto a plate, cover to keep warm, and continue to cook the two additional crepes in the same manner.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the arugula and peaches, and lightly toss to coat with dressing.
5. Divide the salad evenly atop crepes. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately with a cold glass of hard cider.