Rosemary crepe stack with CSA medley filling

Savory crepe stack

Today marks the beginning of my live-blogging olympics broadcast. Ready? Begin. We’ll start with ping pong. He shoots the ball across the table! He shoots it back across the table. He shoots it back, he shoots it forth, back, forth, back, forth. Wait! What’s this? Could it be? No, it’s back. Forth, back forth. I’m kidding, of course, and I don’t mean to poke fun at ping pong, which is a perfectly honorable sport. We watched a bit of olympics at work over the weekend, and I really do enjoy the games. I’m strangely moved by large gatherings of people, united in one cause. I get weepy at political demonstrations and concerts and parades. I’ve never been sure why – it’s an irrational and inexplicable response. I find the olympics particularly thrilling. All of these people coming from all over the world, so full of energy and hope and skill. Despite my gospel of under-achievement, and my support for mediocrity everywhere, I’ve always thought it would be fun to be very very good at something. To be, perhaps, the best in the world. I’d love to be passionately focussed on something that I was actually good at doing. I’ve said I’m not very competitive, and it’s true that I’m not, but I can imagine that it would be wonderful to be around other people who have concentrated their life and energy on the thing that you’ve concentrated your life and energy on, even if you’re competing with them for medals. At work over the weekend, some of my co-workers were laughing at the people who had fallen so far back in the race that they didn’t show up on the screen any more. But I thought…they’re in the Olympics, for chrissake!! They’re possibly the best in their country, among the best in the world, they’ve probably trained all of their lives, and they’re here! They should be flying, and glowing, and ecstatic!! They should cross the finish line and laugh and cry with joy! Of course it’s not that simple. I know that. But all of the complexity and drama are part of the beauty of it.

If this dish was an olympic sport, it would be that race in which the swimmers do a different stroke every couple of laps. Why? Because there’s a different filling between each crepe! If this dish was the olympics opening ceremony, it would be that part when they go through the whole history of the host country. Why? Because the fillings are OOTO favorites, and making them was like taking a walk through the history of this blog. How did it all come about, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. It was a sultry Friday night. Delivery of the next box share of vegetables was imminent upon the morrow. But, what’s this? We still have beets and zucchini and basil and lord-knows-what-else from last week? Let’s cook them all up, I say!! What grows together, tastes good together! And so it does. I made a stack of rosemary and black pepper crepes. And then I made toasted beets, sauteed zucchini and capers, I made some pesto, I had some caramelized onions leftover, I roasted some mushrooms. I grated some mozzarella. I made a light and simple but smoky tomato sauce to go on top. And that was that! You could obviously use whatever elements you have on hand to make fillings for the layers. And you can arrange them in any order that you like. It’s very fun to put together. It does take a while to make everything at once, but if you happen to have some of the stuff leftover – pesto, or caramelized onions, or sauteed zucchini, it all goes together in a snap.

Crepe stack cross view

Here’s Jurassic 5 with The Game

THE CREPES

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 t salt
2 t rosemary, chopped
black pepper

Butter, to fry

Whisk together the eggs and milk, and then whisk in the dry ingredients. It should be the consistency of unwhipped heavy cream. If it’s too thick, add a little water. Cover, and let sit for at least half an hour.

To fry…melt a pat of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it’s just starting to brown, put about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of batter in, and swirl the pan around till you have a thin circle of batter. I like to use a pan that’s bigger than the crepes I’m going to make, so that I have room to flip them, and so the edges get nice and crispy. When the top of the crepe seems to have dried out, and has little holes forming in it, slide a spatula under the side and take a peek at the bottom, if it’s brown, flip the crepe. The second side only needs to cook for about 1 minute, the top will puff slightly. Remove to a plate, and fry all the other crepes in the same fashion.

FOR THE FILLINGS

Caramelized onions can be made like this.

Roasted mushrooms can be made like this.

Pesto can be made like this.

TOASTED BEETS

2 smallish beets, peeled trimmed and grated
1 T olive oil
1 t balsamic
salt and plenty of pepper

Mix everything together and spread in a thin layer on a toaster tray. Toast on high until the beets start to get dark and smell like burnt sugar – fifteen minutes, maybe. Stir occasionally, so that they toast evenly. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can roast them in a regular oven at 425 for about the same amount of time.

ZUCCHINI & CAPERS

1 T olive oil
1 medium-sized zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/3 inch segments, and then crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
1 clove garlic
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 t capers
salt and plenty of pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and pepper flakes. When the garlic starts to brown, add the zucchini. Stir and fry for about ten minutes. You want them to be quite soft and wilted – starting to brown, even, but still bright. And you want the pan to be quite dry, or the crepes will get mushy. Take off the heat, season with salt and pepper, and stir in the capers.

You’ll also need one or two cups of grated mozzarella, and, to serve, a batch of light tomato sauce, heavy on the smoked paprika.

TO ASSEMBLE

Preheat oven to 400.

In a tart pan or on a baking sheet (lightly buttered) place one crepe. Spread a layer of caramelized onions evenly across, and sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella. Place another crepe on top. Spread a layer of toasted beets across the top. Place another crepe on top of that. Spread a layer of pesto, and sprinkle a bit of cheese on it. Place another crepe, spread a layer of roasted mushrooms, and sprinkle some cheese. Place another crepe on top and spread some zucchini and capers on it, trying to keep it as even as possible to the edges. Keep repeating till you’re out of crepes or out of filling. You can go in any order you like, and make any kind of combination of elements you like. As you can see, I didn’t get all the fillings all the way to the edge, so mine was more of a mound than a cake, but I think it turned out well that way, because the pancakes on the tops and sides got nice and crispy.

Bake for about 15 minutes, till it’s hot through and the cheese is melted. Let cool for a few minutes, and then slice in wedges and serve with tomato sauce.

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One thought on “Rosemary crepe stack with CSA medley filling

  1. Rosemary crepes, you say? Now that is something I can get behind! I love how many different vegetables you used as filling–it makes me want to experiment with every different filling I can imagine!

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