Deluged by requests from friends who want good gluten-free dishes, I thought first of farina, a substantial chickpea pancake made in northern Italy, and soccer, a thinner version eaten in Nice. Memories of these dishes helped me arrive at this crepe recipe. All you need is olive oil, water, and flour made from dried chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans. The beige flour used to be available only in Italian markets and South Asian stores, where it is also called besan or gram flour. Lately though, you may find it with other gluten-free products in supermarkets as well as natural food stores.
My favorite filling is this savory combination of spinach, red onion, sweet bell pepper, and mushrooms, which you can make ahead, then reheat in a skillet, adding a splash of broth to prevent burning. A generous spoonful of prepared pesto stirred into the filling adds bold flavor.
Chickpea Crepes with Spinach, Mushroom, and Pesto
(Makes 6 servings)
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons soft buttery spread, if using skillet
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 6 ounces (about 2 cups) Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 (5-ounce box) baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In medium bowl, whisk chickpea flour, oil, rosemary, and salt with water until mixture is smooth. Let batter sit 20–30 minutes to thicken slightly. Before cooking, stir to loosen any clumps.
- For crepes, set non-stick crepe pan over medium-high heat until drops of water flicked into pan ball up and bounce. With one hand, hold pan up at 45-degree angle. Pour ¼ cup batter near top of pan, rotating pan as you pour so batter flows into 6- to 7-inch round crepe. Cook until crepe is golden on bottom, 1-2 minutes. Using large spatula, turn and cook until crepe is lightly golden on bottom, about 30 seconds. Transfer crept to large plate. Cover each crepe with wax paper. If using a regular skillet instead of non-stick crepe pan, coat hot pan with ½ teaspoon spread before first crepe and repeat as needed between crepes.
- If not filling crepes immediately, cool to room temperature and cover plate with plastic wrap. Hold crepes at room temperature for up to 8 hours, refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- For filling, in medium skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add red peppers and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture looks wet, 5–6 minutes. Add spinach, stirring to wilt leaves. Cook, stirring often, until most of moisture has evaporated and filling is tender, 8 minutes.
- If crepes have been made ahead, wrap them in foil and warm in 250°F oven, 20 minutes. To assemble crepes, in small bowl, mix pesto with 2 tablespoons warm water. Stir pesto into filling. Arrange a crepe on a plate. Spoon ⅙ filling over bottom half of each crepe, then gently fold crepe in half over filling. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling. If desired, garnish plate with some mesclun leaves and strawberries. Serve immediately.
Total fat: 11 g
Saturated fat: 1.5 g
Carbohydrate: 15 g
Protein: 6 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 400 mg