I realized recently how seldom I cook breakfast now that I’m single. Well, I make breakfast, but cooking would be a very generous way to describe it. Usually, it’s unwrapping a kind bar, toasting a piece of Udi’s bread, or if I’m feeling really energetic, scrambling a quick egg.
I’ve always thought there was something special and romantic about breakfast. We can put it on the list – right below French fries and foot massages – of keys to my heart. So in anticipation of Valentine’s Day, instead of chocolate cake and oysters, I thought I’d share this recipe for an easy, yet somewhat involved breakfast that I would love for my imaginary boyfriend to make for me.
Buckwheat happens to be gluten-free, though most recipes for this type of savory French crepe will call for regular flour as well. It’s not always the easiest to find in the baking isle. So if you’re worried about tracking it down, I’d suggest ordering some online (I use Arrowhead Mills). The best thing about these crepes, is that the batter can be made the night before and can rest in a bowl in the fridge until morning. Not that it takes that long to whip together the morning of. But if your morning habits are more along the lines of removing wrappers than poaching eggs, you will be grateful for the pre-prep.
I’ll be out in LA the week of Valentine’s Day, and have made big plans to drink margaritas and eat tacos with some of my girlfriends out there. My imaginary boyfriend will be in New York, but the weather should be pretty warm compared to what we’ve had going on here the past few weeks, so I don’t think I’ll be needing his company. It should be noted that I have been sick this week, and all of this jibber-jabber is probably the cold medicine talking. Why else would I name my space heater Brian?
Okay okay, enough of that. These buckwheat crepes make for a great year round breakfast, not just when romance strikes. I made this particular batch for my girlfriend Kate who showed up at my doorstep at 11am on a Saturday in a mink coat and heels. Sometimes romance can sneak up on you like that.
Buckwheat Crepes with Leeks, Spinach and Gruyere
Makes 4 servings
You can make the crepes in advance and keep them for a few days in the fridge. But I say best to just keep some batter on hand and make them fresh. It doesn’t take very long, and crepes always taste best right off the griddle. Feel free to use other greens in this recipe – chard and kale would both be delicious, or just stick with the leeks!
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup milk
2 leeks, white and green parts only, halved and thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
5 ounces baby spinach
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
1. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buckwheat flour and eggs. Gently add the milk and whisk until smooth. Set the batter aside in the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the leeks and scallions until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach one handful at a time – as the greens cook down, you can fit more in the pan. Cook the spinach, tossing constantly, until fully wilted and soft, about 3 minutes. Remove greens to a bowl. Set aside.
3. Place a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add a scant 1/4 cup batter to the pan and swirl until the bottom is fully coated. Cook for 30 seconds, then slide your spatula along the edges to loose the crepe. Cook for 30 seconds more, then flip the crepe. Cook another 30 seconds on the second side, the sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over the top of the crepe, followed by two tablespoons greens. Fold the sides of the crepe in to seal the mixture. Slice the completed crepe onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining crepes. You should have about 8 total.
4. If not serving right away, or the cheese has not fully melted, warm the pan in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until ready to eat. A nice side salad is a great compliment.