Grilled vegetable and pesto crêpes

Updated: Nov 10


I adore crêpes and almost never eat them. While there are many recipes for savory crêpes, I never seemed to have the imagination to think beyond the traditional ham-and-cheese, and therefore never made them. While on a family vacation, we stumbled on a superb crêperie called Peaberry & Galette, which featured many delicious and unusual items on the menu. The crêpe-makers at this establishment had a zen-like grace as they moved around the kitchen, which was a teachable moment for someone like me, who is always running in circles and cursing while I cook.


On our second visit to this crêperie it became the site of a weird family quarrel that we pledged to forgive, forget, and never speak of again, except to refer to the Peaberry Episode. The Decavore also got a lesson in phone etiquette. We asked him to call ahead from the car to order a few crêpes to share so that they could be ready when we arrived (there is a wait at this place, because no one can rush zen masters at work). He dialed the number, and in his most intense, hangry voice said: "We are NINE PEOPLE arriving in FIVE MINUTES." And then forgot what to say next. Silence. Imagine getting a call like that.


The Peaberry employee remained calm. "Yes? And?" I prompted the Decavore to order three banana crêpes and three vegetable crêpes. Unflappable, they replied: "There are nine of you, do you want to order more?" Clearly for these zen crêpe makers, cooking is a martial art. These people had really buckled up. The crêpes were just being plated as we arrived, and no one even asked who was the maniac who had called in threats moments earlier.


I have tried to recreate the crêpes I tasted at this incredible place. They are ideal to cook at home after a long day, since not all the elements need to be made from scratch. You can try them with pre-made crêpes, or even pre-made pesto. You just need to slice and grill some vegetables. I used a grill-pan, but if you have an outdoor grill, or even a broiler, those may work even better. You can experiment with different vegetables, or riff on the pesto. I used cheese in my pesto as well as in the crêpes, but vegans could skip this. I have never tried making vegan crêpes, using soy milk and a butter substitute, but that is an option, too.


Grilled vegetable and pesto crêpes


Crêpes:


Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp sugar

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

butter for the pan


Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.

Make a well in the center of the dry mix and add the eggs.

Gradually add in the milk, and beat until smooth.

Add a small amount of butter to a flat, non-stick pan or griddle, and heat it over medium high heat. (I could not find my 10-inch omelet pan and was stuck making adorable mini-crêpes out of my 6-inch pan, which kept me tethered to the stove an awfully long time).

Pour or scoop the batter, using just enough to coat the bottom of pan.

Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.

Cook the crêpe for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Loosen with a non-metal spatula (don't mess up that non-stick surface!), flip it over, and cook the other side. I turn the heat to low and add my fillings at this point.


Vegetable filling:


Ingredients:

Half a medium eggplant, sliced into 2 inches by 1/4 inch pieces

Half a large zucchini, sliced into 2 inches by 1/4 inch pieces

Half a tomato, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces

Three scallions, whole


Instructions:

Grill vegetables to desired degree of char.

Pesto:

There are many pesto recipes out there. Mine is fairly standard.


Ingredients:

2 cups packed basil leaves

1/2 cup packed parsley leaves

1/4 cup celery leaves (On my last trip to the farmer's market I got a stalk of celery with lots and lots of thick, dark green leaves. I saved the leaves, and they not only made a delicious and novel addition to all kinds of recipes requiring greens, but also outlasted any herb in the fridge. They add a terrific peppery note to pesto).

1/4 cup of grated parmesan

1 tbsps butter

2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2 tbsps pignoli nuts

2 tbsps chopped walnuts

salt and pepper

olive oil


Instructions:

Add all ingredients, except for the olive oil, to a food processor. Turn on food processor and slowly drizzle oil into the mix until the greens are thoroughly mixed and pesto has the consistency of sauce.


Crêpes:

To assemble the crêpes, wait until they have been flipped, and, while they continue to cook in the pan, grate a few teaspoons of cheese over them.

Add a few vegetables (I cut the vegetables shown here into smaller pieces so that they did not overwhelm my mini-crêpes), leaving enough space around the edge to be able to fold it.

Add a tablespoon of pesto on top of the vegetables, slip crêpe out of the pan onto a plate, and fold to your desired shape.












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