Our Culinary Specialist Nanette Berning-Pate strikes again with a touch of Spring and a classic brunch dish. Nothing can beat freshly made crepes, let alone healthy ones made with buckwheat. A savory dish combining cheese and asparagus calls for a medium bodied white wine such as Chardonnay. We suggest La Colline Aux Fossiles or Truchard Estate Chardonnay.
For the crepe batter:
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Unsalted butter for the pan
For the cheese and asparagus filling:
- 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, cut into 6 chunks
- 1 1/2 cups finely grated gruyere cheese
- 1 medium shallot, finely diced
- 3/4 pound fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons butter for the baking dish
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
1. For the crepes combine the buckwheat flour, eggs, milk, olive oiled and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before making the crepes.
2. To make the crepes, wisk the batter and thin if needed with a small amount of water so that the batter has the thickness of heavy cream.
3. Heat a small non-stick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat.
4. Swirl enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Add 1/4 cup batter to the pan tilting the pan in all directions to spread evenly. Cook about 1 minute until the underside of the crepe is lightly browned. Flip the crepe and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove and cool. Continue to cook the remaining crepes. This cooking step can be done in advance by storing cooked crepes in a plastic bag held the refrigerator, until you are ready to assemble.
5. For the cheese filling place the ricotta, cream cheese, grated gruyere
and the lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and reserve.
6. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and shallot then sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a large baking dish.
8. Place one crepe at a time on a work surface. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture on the lower half of a crepe. Place 2 asparagus spears on the cheese and roll to enclose. Place each crepe seam side down in the baking dish. Top with any remaining asparagus and the remaining 1/2 cup gruyere cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with parsley and chives to serve.
This recipe has been contributed by Nanette Berning-Pate, Culinary Professional