Meatless Monday: Savory Caprese Crêpes

July 26, 2010

Crepes: I usually like mine with nutella and a little powdered sugar. Last week, I was inspired by 80 Breakfast’s recipe for chocolate-filled cinnamon sugar-crusted crepes (which, by the way, I highly recommend for dessert or brunch), but it got me thinking about how easy it would be to make a meal of savory crepes. You don’t really need any special equipment to make crepes—just a ladle and a frying pan. In terms of fillings, the sky’s the limit. For this post, I brainstormed ideas: should I make a spanikopita-inspired crepe, stuffed with feta and spinach, perhaps with a little tzatiki on the side? Or something more similar in style to a breakfast burrito, with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, and onions?

I settled on a caprese salad: mozzarella, basil, and sliced tomato. Be still, my beating heart.

I whipped up the crepe batter, which literally took me around six and a half minutes. We’re talking easy, folks.  I whisked the ingredients (flour, milk, eggs, a little salt) together and then let the finished product sit overnight in my fridge. If you don’t want to let it stand overnight, I do recommend at least 20 minutes—in which time you can prep your filling.

Click through for the batter recipe:

Basic Savory Crêpe Batter on FoodistaBasic Savory Crêpe Batter

I picked out some gorgeous late-summer tomatoes on the vine, organic basil, and fresh mozzarella balls (I’m a fanatic). If you’re using fresh mozzarella, I suggest letting it drain on paper towels for a while, lest it soak through your crepe.

More prep: slice the tomatoes as thin as you can. Cut the mozzarella into medallions. Tear up the basil.

I poured my crepe batter on a pancake griddle, but a large frying pan would work just as well. I used the ladle to distribute the batter evenly, and let the crepe cook on high heat until golden brown. If you're making a large batch of crepes, put the finished ones on wax paper until all your batter is used up (the wax paper will keep them from getting soggy or sticking together).

Flipping crepes is a little tricky—use a combination of a spatula and your fingers to wrestle it onto its other side. Don’t panic if it folds, just readjust.

Once your finished crepes have cooled a little, distribute the mozzarella, tomato, and basil over half of the crepe. Salt and pepper to taste. Fold in half, then fold in half again to make a triangle with two layers of delicious filling. I chose to brush melted butter on both sides of the crepe, and then I popped it back on the griddle on low heat to warm the filling.

The result? Great success. The mozzarella was soft and warm but not gooey, and the tomato and basil were just right. A thought: next time I try this recipe, I want to add some herbs to the batter!

Do you have a favorite savory crepe recipe? Can you articulate the magic of how to execute a flawless crepe flip? Let us know in the comments!

--Anneka Gerhardt, Foodista staffer



The Gothic Gourmet's picture

I make spanakopita regularly here in this household. It is a staple so to speak, so that of your idea for the savory Greek inspired crepe is a fantastic smashing idea. I may have to try it Myself.

As for a favorite recipe? Certainly the Gothic Gourmet has one or two or...possibly more.

Your Caprese Crepes instantly pulled Me to a grilled veggie recipe that I use for sandwiches. I made mention of it on another one of your entries but I digress.

Warm crepes with cool filling can also be a pleasant surprise to your guest and a satisfying dish on a hot summers day.

My suggestion is that you not only add basil to your batter, but some fresh lemon zest and a wee bit of lemon juice for some tang/acidity. I am a lemon/lime junkie so try to add the zest or juice of a lemon or lime to nearly everything I make be it sweet or savory.

Now, My idea for a fantastic crepe? Roasted veggies with fresh Mozzarella which has been marinated in homemade Italian dressing. Thick slices of Mozzarella (ball form but cut into oh, 1/2 inch slices or so). Take your slices of Mozzarella and place them into a dish or zip lock bag or whatever container you have on hand and add your own favorite (or store bought...gads) Italian dressing. Marinate for at lest 2 to three hours.

Meanwhile let Us prep shall We? Depending on how many guest you have (or family members) you will need to use your best judgment on how many veggies you need. Of course, you can adjust ingredients to your liking or, you can add additional favorite ingredients.

After you have prepared your batter with the added freshly chopped basil, a bit of salt and pepper, and lemon zest and juice to your own liking start chopping up the following veggies which I feel are a lovely layer of flavors that explode in your mouth. (Don't worry kids you CAN try this at home). ;)


Zucchini (cut in half and then cut into 1/2 inch strips).
Yellow Squash (cut in half and then cut into 1/2 inch strips or to your favorite thickness) Remember We are looking for texture here...a bit of a crunch).
Red Onion (halved and cut thinly). If you have an aversion to onions simply omit as it does not take away from this recipe.
Roasted Red Bell peppers. I find the ones in the jar to be WONDERFUL and they do save the Chef a bit of time as far as prep is concerned. Make sure to have the jar of peppers in the ice box to chill. We want cold/chilled fillings for this recipe.
Bib Lettuce (or your favorite lettuce.) Romaine would be fine for this. I do NOT however suggest arugula for this application.

Now, take your veggies sans (roasted peppers in the jar) and place them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with flake or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add a bit of fresh chopped basil and a sprinkling of good olive oil. Roast/or grill until tender with a bit of give/crunch still to in them). I like to sample things and veggies are guilt free in My book so sample away! When grilling? The grill marks are so beautiful. When roasting? You can still get some black marks if you broil for a minute or two after roasting. Use your noggin and know your oven. Watch everything like a hawk! Don't burn your veggies or overcook them or this whole gig is a moot point by now.

Remember that beautiful Mozzarella that you have in your own beautiful (or store bought/I won't tell) dressing in the icebox? Keep it chilling pretty and bring your veggies to the party. Chill them for a minimum of 1 hour or more (until totally chilled). Now...

Oh, oh...did I forget the most important part of the party?


The Basil mayo! Now, to save yourself some time, don't go making your own mayo unless you do in fact, have the time. I have done this but really it is not necessary since so little is needed.

Basil Mayo.

In a small bowl combine the following:

1/2 cup Mayo (I like the rich whole run the show thing but you can use reduced fat mayo if you like). It's your it!

Fresh chopped Basil. Oh...I use a lot of Basil but eyeball it to your own liking/preference. I use a couple of tablespoons or more.

Take one of those lemon wedges and squeeze the juice into the mixture.

Add flake or Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to the mix. (Taste and re-salt/pepper to your own liking).

Set aside in the icebox and keep it chilling pretty.

You have that lovely crepe batter resting and it's time honey it's time! Make a station. Get all your veggies in a line. Get out that marinated Mozzarella and keep them all standing by. Heck, why not bring a lemon cut into quarters to the party? Keep those wedges sitting pretty.

As our lovely author/creator of this website has made mention/keep the crepes you have previously made on wax/parchment paper standing by.

Take a rubber spatula or whatever spreading device you may have on hand and put as much Basil mayo on your crepe as you want.
Layer first your slices of chilled marinated Mozzarella cheese, Zucchini, yellow squash, roasted red bell peppers, red onions (if you are using them) Add your lettuce and then, for extra fantastic flavor, add a bit of your Italian dressing on top of all that goodness for good measure. Take one of your lemon wedges and squeeze as much juice as you like on top of all of that. Reserve lemon wedge for plating.

Fold your crepe and top with a dollop of Crème fraiche laced with a bit of lemon zest. Serve with a mixed Spring salad of Cherry tomatoes, crushed/toasted walnuts and your remaining Italian dressing that was used to marinate your Mozzarella in. Top with flaked sea salt and fresh cracked black peppercorns. If you're feeling feisty? Add a few hot pickled banana peppers into your salad along with a few anchovies.

Now that to Me? Is good eats. Sorry if My reply was too long. I get to going and can't stop Myself sometimes.

This mixture/combination is also wonderful on grilled focaccia bread cut into large halves and make a lovely addition to any omelette for breakfast or a fine brunch out on the veranda.

Bon appetite!

The Gothic Gourmet.

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