Did you know that making crêpes can be quite tricky? On Friday night, I thought I’d bake a few crêpes in order to fill them with leftover oven-roasted veggies. But alas, I only had a little buckwheat flour left and couldn’t try Lilith’s recipe. So I turned to the bible of vegan cooking – the Veganomicon. The Veganomicon has to crêpe recipes. One with a little buckwheat in it and I thought this would be the perfect way to use up my leftovers. But somehow the this mix of different flours (buckwheat, chickpea and spelt), oat milk and water didn’t seem to have the intention to turn into crêpes and one after another got burned, stuck to the pan or tore apart when I tried to turn it over. In the end I cranked out two or three reasonable ones, but they were not like real crêpes.
Since I couldn’t accept this defeat I made another batch of crêpes on Saturday morning. Since I had no more buckwheat flour left I just made the other recipe from Veganomicon, using wheat flour (2/4 cups), whole wheat flour (1/4 cup) and chickpea flour (1/4). I also used soy milk (1 1/2 cups) instead of oat, added a generous tablespoon of arrowroot powder (the night before it was more a scant tablespoon of it), 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and thoroughly mixed the batter with a handheld mixer and left it to chill in the fridge.
While the batter was resting, I prepared some leftover pumpkin (NL: Oranje Pompoen;German: Hokkaido). I diced it, mixed it with olive oil, a little redwine vinegar, sea salt and some Ras-el-Hanout, put it into an ovensafe dish and let it roast at 200°C for about 20-25 minutes, stirring it midway baking.
The night before, we had prepared a lentil salad (recipe to be found in Veganomicon aswell) which I found pretty French inspired since it uses typical French herbs and dressing ingredients.
To prepare the salad you need:
4 cups vegetable broth (I used only 3 cups)
2 or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon salt (which I kinda left out, since broth powder oftentimes is quite salty already)
1 cup uncooked French lentil (such as Du Puy, which are green lentils)
1 small red onion, chopped very finely
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2-4 radishes, grated
2 carrots, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
(we added a few more veggies than in the original recipe. we also added half an iceberg lettuce, finely shredded)
for the dressing you need:
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard ( we used mosterd grof/grobkörnigen Senf, aber nicht die süße Art)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
To prepare the lentils add broth, thyme, bay leaves, garlic cloves, tarragon (and salt if using) to a medium-sized saucepan and bring the whole shebang to a boil. Add the lentils, let it all boil again, then lower the heat and let the lentils simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes. Maybe you’ll have to leave the lid tilted to let some of the steam escape. You want your lentils to be soft enough, but still relatively firm, otherwise your salat will be pretty mushy.
While the lentils are cooking you can stir together your dressing and prep the other salad ingredients.
When the lentils are done, drain them in a sieve, let them cool slightly and remove the bay leaves, garlic and thyme sprigs. Once the lentils have cooled enough (enough depending on whether you’d prefer a warmer or colder salad) add them along with the rest of the ingredients (except for the lettuce) to a big bowl and toss everything to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want to enhance the flavour you can chill the salad for at least half an hour up to overnight. Before serving mix in the lettuce or serve the salad over the lettuce.
Whe also had some awesome cashew garlic dip to go with the pumpkin and crêpes. We had prepared the dip on Thursday night, to go with our roasted veggies, but it was great with the crêpes aswell.
For the dip you’ll need:
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roasted (we’d roasted them along with our other veggies. you could for instance roast them along with the pumpkin. Just lightly oil them and pop them in the oven)
1/2 cup cashew (pieces), soaked for at least an hour, preferably overnight
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh or dried rosemary to taste
fresh or dried sage to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 more clove of fresh garlic (optional), if you prefer a more intense garlic taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender or use a hand blender. Blend until silky smooth.
Now the only part left is to bake your crêpes. So heat a frying pan (or crêpe pan if you happen to have one) over medium-high heat. (In Veganomicon they write that it has the right temperature if a few drops of water flicked into it sizzle). Lightly oil the pan (I used unscented coconut oil) and ladle about 1/3-1/2 cup of batter into the center of the pan. The batter should sizzle when it hits the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in a circular motion to spread the batter in a thin layer across the bottom. Cook until the top of the crêpe is dry, the center is bubbling, and the edges appear firm and lightly browned (about 1-1 1/2 minutes). Then gently run a spatula under the crêpe to loosen it (you have to loosen it everywhere first!), then carefully flip and cook the other side, too (about 30-60 seconds).
In Veganomicon they also write: Brush a little more oil (or margarine, whatever your using) onto the pan for the next crêpe. “if the crepes start to stick to the pan, give it another spray of nonstick cooking spray. If bits of batter collect on the pan, or the pan seems too oily, quickly swirl a crumpled paper towl across the surface of the pan to remove the crumbs. Cook the rest of the crepes, stacking one on top of another (often it’s easiest to just slide the flipped crepe directly onto the stack).”
I stored the plate with the already baked crêpes in the oven, which was set a low temperature, in order to keep them warm until we sat down for dinner.
Fill the crêpes with roasted pumpkin and cashew garlic dip, arrange the lentil salad on some lettuce and serve. Some olives go pretty well with the salad, too.
Et voilà, you got yourself a pretty awesome French inspired meal!
And if the crêpe-making goes really well, you might even want to serve some for dessert…
These are paired with raspberry-plum compote and some leftover cashew cream from the tarte tatin.