I’ve had buckwheat pancakes many times in diners growing up but I think they must have been half buckwheat, half wheat flour as buckwheat on its own is completely gluten free and so far (for me) impossible to transform into something fluffy. Like many gluten-free flours, it produces a denser and drier baked good, but it is still delicious and wonderful–just different! I am not gluten free but I have many friends and family members who are so it has been fun experimenting with gluten-free alternatives. I think it works pretty well in crepe batter. After all they are thin and filled with all kinds of deliciousness–in this case green chard, mushrooms, garlic and goat cheese and topped with a homemade tomato sauce.
For the ideal buckwheat crepe, use a mix of half and half flours and of course if you don’t have buckwheat flour at all, classic crepes are pretty awesome.
for 2 ppl
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbs melted butter (or olive oil)
4 large leaves green chard (or spinach, broccoli rabe, kale, etc), washed and chopped
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
dash of lemon juice
crumbly fresh goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for quick tomato sauce
1 large can stewed, unsalted tomatoes
1/2 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
fresh or dried basil
dash of vinegar
salt and pepper
1-2 tbs of sugar
1) Heat up olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic for a minute and then add the green chard. Soften on a med-low heat. Season with salt, pepper and dash of lemon juice and set aside, covered with a lid to keep warm. Do the same with the mushrooms.
2) Add the flour and salt to a large bowl and stir, then add in the milk, water and eggs, but only 1 tbs of melted butter. Whisk until you have a smooth and runny batter. This batter is a little gloopy and sticky unlike regular crepe batter.
3) Using a large non-stick frying pan, heat a little of the melted butter on high and ladle in some of the crepe batter. With some strength and determination, swirl it around the frying pan into an ever widening circle. If you are an old hat at crepes, you will notice the more sticky nature of this batter. You may need to really shake it at the end to get the batter to swirl around a bit more. You want these thin as can be.
4) Cook on one side, then flip over with a soft spatula and cook the other side. I love the way they look–a blueish gray with a pepper-like sprinkling of black.
5) Spoon plenty of green chard onto the crepes and top with crumbled goat cheese. I put these under the broiler for a minute to warm them up and warm the plate.
6) Gently roll up and top with homemade tomato sauce. These are enjoyable not just for the taste, but also because they feel healthy and fresh.
For a quick homemade tomato sauce
Fresh tomato sauce takes a really long time and is something for a special occasion. That occasion being a rare day when we all have time. Since we don’t all have time, go for quick, easy and something to make at least once a week–for pasta, lasagna, eggplant parmesan, pizza… You will never ever ever need to buy jars of tomato sauce, but you will need to buy tins and tins and tins of tomatoes. This is easy enough to keep in a plastic container in the freezer and defrost for whenever you need it throughout the week.
1) In a medium pot, heat up the olive oil and gently fry the onion and garlic cloves until soft.
2) Add in the jar of tomatoes (juice and all) and mash with a potato masher.
3) Bring to a boil, add in the seasoning and turn down to simmer for about 20 minutes.
4) Blitz with a hand-held blender and check the seasoning. Add more salt or sugar if needed.