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Dinner + Light Meals, Sides & Soups
 Broccoli, Leek & Blue Cheese Crepes + Seasonal Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing 

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Broccoli, Leek & Blue Cheese Crepes

 

Savoury filled crepes are the perfect comfort food. When it comes to seasonal fillings the options really are endless. If I have leeks in the garden, I tend to always use them in the sauce, but you could swap the broccoli for asparagus if you are blessed with an abundance of spears, or even add it alongside the broccoli. Mushrooms would be delicious in here as well. The blue cheese is not compulsory, so if you or a family member are averse to the flavour of it then please feel free to leave it out. Another option would be to swap the blue cheese with feta, which is also a lovely compliment to the green earthiness of broccoli. 

Although there is a bit of foresight required when making this recipe in that the crepe batter needs to rest and hydrate for at least two hours before cooking, you could always whip the batter up the night before to save time the following day, and from there it is just a simple matter of frying the crepes, making the filling and assembling the dish so it is ready for baking. This whole process could in fact be done the day ahead with the dish being stored covered in the fridge until it is time to bake in the oven. 

When cooking the crepes, a cast iron frying pan is best, but if you don’t have one a medium sized nonstick frying pan will do just fine. The batter should be thin and silky - don’t be alarmed if it has separated after resting – just whisk it together and add the melted butter to bring it back to the consistency of runny cream.

 

Makes 8 filled crepes 

Serves 4 - 6

 

Ingredients  

Crepes  

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour 

  • ½ cup wholemeal flour 

  • ½ teaspoon flaky salt 

  • 1 large egg, beaten 

  • 2 cups water 

  • 40 grams butter

  • extra butter for frying 

 

Filling  

  • 1 broccoli head / 200 grams, cut into spears, tender stem included 

  • 50 grams butter

  • 1 leek / 300 grams, thinly sliced into rounds 

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 

  • 2 generous dessert spoons white flour 

  • 3 cups milk 

  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard 

  • ½ cup grated tasty cheese 

  • Flaky salt and cracked black pepper to taste 

  • 100 grams blue vein cheese 

  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 

Method  

  1. Make the crepes. Mix the flours and salt together in a bowl. Add the beaten egg and water and whisk together until a smooth runny batter is formed. Don’t add the butter yet – you will add this just before frying. 

  2. Cover the crepe mixture with a plate and place it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight. **If you are short on time you don’t need to let the batter rest, but by allowing the gluten to hydrate and relax your crepes will cook better and have a much lighter consistency. 

  3. When you are ready to cook the crepes, melt the butter in a non-stick or cast-iron frying pan. Add the melted butter to the crepe mixture and whisk it in well. Return the pan to the heat and heat until medium - hot.  

  4. Using a ladle, spoon some crepe mix into the pan, swirling until the bottom of the pan is coated with a thin layer of batter. Cook the first side of the crepe and flip it once it is golden and brown on the bottom. Fry the second side for another minute, then place the crepe on a plate and cover with a tea towel.  

  5. Continue cooking the crepes one by one, adding a bit of butter to the pan if needed, stacking them up on top of one another on the plate. Cover and place aside to rest while you prepare the filling. 

  6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade. 

  7. Steam the broccoli until it is just tender and set aside. 

  8. Melt the butter in a wide pan and gently sauté the leek for a few minutes, seasoning with a good pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the leek is tender. 

  9. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring. 

  10. Add the milk and gently bring to a simmer stirring continuously ensuring there are no lumps forming. I find using the back of a large spoon is good for this. Once the sauce has bubbled and thickened remove it from the heat and add the wholegrain mustard, tasty cheese, another good pinch of sea salt and some cracked black pepper. Stir well, tasting the sauce to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.  

  11. Grease a large casserole dish generously with butter. 

  12. Assemble the crepes. Take the first crepe and place a spoonful of the leek filling lengthways along one edge. Top with 1/8 of the broccoli, and 1/8 of the blue cheese. Roll up and place with the flap down into the casserole dish. 

  13. Repeat until all the crepes are filled, keeping in mind that you don’t want to use all the leek sauce up as you need enough left over to top the crepes with. 

  14. Pour the remaining sauce onto the crepes and top with the grated parmesan. At this point if you still have some blue cheese left over you could top the crepes with this too. 

  15. Cover the casserole dish with tinfoil and bake for 25 - 30 minutes, then remove the tinfoil and bake for a further 10 minutes to brown the top. 

  16. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with a freshly dressed seasonal garden salad. 

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Seasonal Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

 

Even though we usually think of long hot summer days when the word salad is mentioned, it is possible to find ingredients for a simple salad during most of the year, and in the depths of winter eating a nutrient rich salad with a dressing made of lemon and garlic is especially welcomed.

 

The spring salad could consist of rocket, lettuce, coriander, nasturtium flowers and leaves, baby broccoli leaves, garlic shoots, parsley, mint, spring onions, radish, borage flowers, fennel bulbs and tops ...the list goes on.  

As the weather warms up the last of the lettuce gets replaced with beetroot leaves, and herbs such as basil and mint. Fruits such as tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchinis add a meatiness to summer salads while the addition of rocket leaves and flowers gives a welcome buttery flavour.  

During autumn the lettuces make an appearance again in our garden, and the beetroot leaves are still being harvested, along with silverbeet, baby kale, and edible flowers like marigolds, calendula and nasturtium. As the nasturtium goes to seed the wee pods add a spicy crunch.

 

Over winter I might use baby kale, lambs ears lettuce, spinach, rocket, or even baby silverbeet leaves from a plant that is about to go to seed, and then fennel as the bulbs plump up as it gets closer to spring. 

The honey mustard dressing is a lovely, fresh dressing which can be used with all these salad combinations to create a beautiful simple seasonal salad. If you like you could make up a large batch to keep in the fridge, so you always have some on hand.  

Makes enough dressing for one large salad 

Ingredients 

For the salad 

  • A selection of leafy greens, herbs, flowers and any other seasonal salad ingredients you would like to use, enough to fill a large salad bowl.

For the dressing

  • Juice from ½ large lemon 

  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed 

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

  • 1 teaspoon liquid honey 

  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard 

 

Method 

  1. Gather all your salad ingredients and wash them well, then pat to dry. Place into a large salad bowl. 

  2. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients together in a jar, then place the lid on the jar and shake well to combine. 

  3. Dress the salad just before eating, or alternatively place a jug of dressing on the table so everyone has the option to dress their own salad. 

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Seasonal Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Recipe
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