Buckwheat and I go way back. Instead of making buttermilk or Aunt Jemima pancakes when we were little, my mom would make my sisters and I stacks of buckwheat pancakes served with maple syrup. When we were lucky, she would form them into Mickey Mouse ears or allow me to drop a few chocolate chips into the batter as the pancakes were cooking.
To this day, our entire family has an odd love for buckwheat, even though most people I know have never had a buckwheat pancake for breakfast in their life. And I’m sure that some people (my husband included) probably prefer Aunt Jemima.
But I’m on a mission to spread the word about buckwheat. I even rang in the New Year with buckwheat blini and caviar on New Years Eve. [Aside] I love caviar! A post for another time perhaps?
I bought a bag of buckwheat flour the other day and knew immediately that I need to make crepes. I tried my first savory buckwheat crepes in cooking school actually. At the school’s restaurant we made buckwheat crepes filled with braised lamb’s neck and goat cheese. But I’m assuming that most of you can’t find lamb’s neck and that some of you may be hesitant to try it (it’s actually delicious and very similar to braised lamb shank if you are curious).
This recipe on the other hand is very easy to prepare and weeknight-friendly. I used frozen spinach in the filling and the crepes batter comes together in seconds in a blender. Ideally, you should allow your batter to rest for 30 minutes or overnight to allow the gluten to relax (gluten = brittle crepes). But resting is not essential.
While you cook your crepes, you can bake your prosciutto in the oven (or omit the prosciutto if you are vegetarian). This was my first time making crispy prosciutto in the oven and I can assure you that it will be making an appearance in my kitchen again. In fact, I went out for dinner this weekend with a friend and ordered a pizza with crispy prosciutto, tomato sauce, mozzarella sauce, and scallions. YUM!
You can even cook your crepes a few hours ahead of time or the night before and then fill them and keep them warm in the oven as you are frying your eggs. We ate these for dinner, but I can definitely imagine that they would be great for a weekend brunch!
Question: Have you ever made savory crepes? If so, what do you serve them with?
Buckwheat Crepes with Spinach, Goat Cheese, Crispy Prosciutto & Fried Eggs
Approx. Time: 1.5 hours
For the buckwheat crepes (crepe recipe slightly adapted from Vegetarian Suppers by Deborah Madison)
Note: You will have leftover crepes batter. You can either use all of the batter and make extra crepes and refrigerate them, or you can refrigerate the batter for a day or two.
- 1 ½ cups 2% milk (nonfat or whole milk would work here as well)
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup buckwheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Additional unsalted butter for greasing pan
For the Spinach Filling
- 2 cups steamed spinach (I used frozen spinach), drained well to remove any excess water
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese
- 4 pieces of thinly cut prosciutto
- 4 large eggs
To cook the crepes:
- Combine the milk, eggs, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a blender.
- Blend until very smooth, occasionally stopping the blender and using a spatula to scrape down the sides.
- Pour the batter into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use (the batter may also be refrigerated for up to 2 days).
- Place a medium to large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, add a half-teaspoon of butter to the pan to lightly coat it (the butter should begin to foam if it is at the right temperature).
- Pour a ¼ cup of the batter into the pan and tilt the pan to cover the bottom of the pan evenly with batter. Cook on one side until the crepe is beginning to turn golden brown and the crepe no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan why you try to lift it with your fingers. Flip and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds. Remove the crepe from the pan, and lay it flat on a baking sheet or plate.
- Repeat until all the batter is gone (or at least until you have 4 good crepes). The crepes can be stacked and chilled in the refrigerator for several days or placed in sealed bags and frozen until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place prosciutto slices in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until prosciutto is crispy and has rendered some of its fat.
- Remove from the oven and allow the prosciutto to cool on the pan.
- Once cool enough to touch, crumble the prosciutto into smaller pieces and set aside on a plate until ready to use.
- Place a medium sauté pan over low heat.
- When the pan is hot, add a teaspoon of olive and the garlic.
- Sauté garlic for 2-3 minutes over low heat, being careful not to burn the garlic.
- Add the spinach and sauté over low heat until all excess water from the spinach has evaporated, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and place spinach mixture in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
- One at a time, carefully break the eggs into the sauté pan, making sure to keep the yolk intact.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the whites have set completely but the yolks are still runny.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately over crepes.
Assembly and plating:
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place one of the cooked crepes on a large plate or work surface.
- Place a quarter of the spinach mixture on one half of the crepe.
- Sprinkle a quarter of the goat cheese on top of the spinach mixture.
- Fold the crepe in half, and then fold the crepe in half again, forming a small triangle. Place on a baking sheet.
- Repeat three times and place all of the crepes on the baking sheet and bake in the oven until hot (but not crispy).
- To serve, place 2 crepes on a plate, top with two fried eggs and a few pieces of crispy prosciutto. Serve at once.