I’m a little bit obsessed with crepes. If you were so inclined (and let’s be clear: I don’t know why you would be) you could organize my trips to Europe into a series of snapshots: here I am eating a crepe on the steps of the Notre Dame. Oh – there I am in Berlin, walking around the Tiergarten with a crepe in hand. Whoops – on the beach in Barcelona, there’s a bit of buttery sugar dripping down my wrist.
Even though crepes are now widely available in the US, they still feel decidedly exotic to me. They’re also one of the most versatile foods you can come across. You can stuff them with savory eggs and cheese; you can fold mushrooms into them; you can drizzle on Nutella or caramelized bananas; you can even simply brush with butter, dust with sugar and squeeze on the faintest hint of lemon.
In France, they traditionally use a slightly different batter for savory and sweet crepes. The savory one is buckwheat based, while the sweet is typically more traditional white flour. I, however, was set on making a recipe that worked equally well for savory and sweet crepes. I wanted it to be as healthy as possible, which is why I settled on the buckwheat version. At this point, you might be wondering: what the hell is buckwheat? A justified question to be sure.
All About Buckwheat
Let’s start with the basics: buckwheat is not a wheat, or in fact, a cereal grain at all. Confusing? Sure. But it’s good news from a health perspective. Buckwheat is actually a seed, related to rhubarb and sorrel. Because of this, it’s naturally gluten free (hooray!) and rich in protein, fiber, flavonoids and magnesium. In various studies, it’s been found to control blood sugar and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. It has a subtle nutty flavor that, in this batter, perfectly complements everything from sauteed kale to chocolate drizzled berries.
Speaking of – we should probably talk about what goes in these babies. Seriously, I behoove you to be creative (yes, I just said behoove) – you really can’t go awry. But, as a thought-starter, here are some fillings I love:
- Sauteed Kale, Parmesan and Soft Scrambled Eggs
- Mushrooms Sauteed in Coconut Oil with Minced Garlic and a Dash of Tamari
- Wilted, Sauteed Spinach and Garlic
- Homemade Nutella, heated over low in a small saucepan with coconut milk added 1 tbsp at a time until a desirable consistency is reached
- Macerated Berries With Mint
- Ghee, Coconut Sugar and a Squeeze of Lemon
- Almond Butter, Sliced Bananas and Cinnamon
On the weekends, I love to have a few friends over and make a stack of these (I make them all before anyone comes and simply keep them warm in the oven) to set out on the table with a variety of toppings. It’s a perfect way to host brunch – zero work once your guests arrive, with a wow-worthy entree (“So European!” your guests will say, and you’ll blush and say, “yes, well, I am very sophisticated”). And, of course, it’s tasty as all get out. So there’s that.Print
- Mix together all ingredients until well combined.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps, then heat a large pan over medium heat until warm.
- Add a bit of high heat oil of choice (I love ghee and coconut oil) and swirl around to cover, then wipe away excess.
- Pour a small amount of batter into the middle of the pan, then tip the pan around until it’s spread into a thin layer and is crepe shaped.
- Cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, or until bottom is golden brown when you peek at it, then carefully flip and cook the other side for 1 – 2 more minutes.
- Slip onto a plate, add toppings, fold and enjoy!