Love bagels and lox? These crepes are a healthier twist on a breakfast favorite. Hearty buckwheat crepes are filled with buttery smoked salmon then topped with a cool and creamy herbed lemon ricotta for a satisfyingly healthy breakfast or lunch.
Working with alternative flours has definitely been a challenge and buckwheat flour was no exception. Because we’re working without gluten, it’s difficult to get the balance of ingredients just right to avoid overly dry or sad-looking foods. But when you do get it right it’s a dance- around-the-kitchen-worthy moment.
These crepes took a few tries to get just right, and I’m sure that as I continue to work with this flour more, I’ll figure out more tips and tricks for getting the consistency even better.
While you don’t want to overcook any crepes, you especially don’t want to overcook buckwheat flour crepes as they can dry out very quickly! I learned this lesson the hard way when I was first going to make simple breakfast crepes with eggs, cheese and avocado.
A combination of talking while cooking, petting Bernie, and cooking eggs at the same time resulted in crepes that sat on the stove for too long and broke apart the minute I tried to fold them over. And the worst part was I thought the runny egg yolk and avocado would help with the dryness, but instead it just made it even more obvious that these were not crepes that I’d hoped for.
So it was back to the drawing board, both in terms of how long to cook them as well as what fillings to use. While I still think eggs and buckwheat could be a good match if you added a little more punch of flavor from a sharp cheese, salsa, or pesto, smoked salmon provides the richness that buckwheat flour is missing.
With salmon on the brain, the next decision was whether or not to use cream cheese. After experimenting a bit, I determined that a whipped cream cheese would work, but regular cream cheese was too difficult to spread without ripping the crepes.
But then I thought about these salmon and ricotta crostinis that I’d seen in some food magazine a little while back. I love ricotta, but I hadn’t ever had it with ricotta before. Well let me tell you, smoked salmon and ricotta are delicious together, especially when the ricotta is filled with fresh lemon juice and dill.
I’m not a capers fan, so that’s why you won’t see those green dots on the crepes. But if you’re like Bry and find it appalling to have smoked salmon without capers, then feel free to add a sprinkle on top of the crepes or mixed into the ricotta.
This was definitely a heartier breakfast that would be perfect before a day of skiing, as the combination of healthy fats, protein, and fiber kept me nice and full all the way to lunch.
What You’ll Need
- Buckwheat flour
- Milk/milk alternative of choice
- Unsalted butter (or oil)
- Ricotta cheese
- Lemon juice
- Fresh dill
- Optional: capers
- Measure out all your ingredients and add the buckwheat flour, salt, eggs, milk, butter, and water to a blender. Blend on high until a bit frothy. If you don’t have a blender you can also whisk by hand.
- Place batter in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest. This will help the flour better absorb the liquid, so the consistency of the crepes will be a bit softer. However, if you’re in a pinch, you can skip this step. Just know that your crepes may end up a bit drier.
- While the batter is resting, stir together ricotta, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings/dill as needed. You can also do this step the night before.
- Once the batter has rested, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
- Pour ¼ cup of batter into pan and quickly swirl the pan around so that the batter fills the entire bottom of the pan. If you’re fancy enough to have a crepe turner, you can use that instead to evenly distribute the batter.
- Cook about 45-60 seconds, then flip crepe and cook another 20-30 seconds. You’ll know it’s ready to flip as the sides will start to curl upwards.
- Cover with foil then repeat with remaining crepes.
- To assemble, place salmon on half of a crepe. Depending on the ratio you want, you can either do 1 ounce of salmon per crepe (so you’d end up with 2 crepes per serving, each with 1 ounce of salmon), or put 2 ounces in one crepe (so you’d have 1 crepe per serving). Fold the bottom half of the crepe over the salmon-covered side, then fold one corner over to the other to end up with a wedge shape.
- Serve with ricotta mixture and capers (if using). You can also put the ricotta inside the crepe, but just know that the folding part will get a little messy.
- For leftovers, I found the crepes dried out pretty quickly. The next day I was able to give some life back into them by covering a crepe with a damp paper towel and microwaving for 20 seconds. But by the second day they were a lost cause.
Are you a savory or sweet crepe person? Usually I love crepes filled with ricotta, jam, and fruit, but with the buckwheat flour I was really digging this savory spin. Let me know what you end up filling your buckwheat crepes with in the comments below!
Buckwheat Crepes with Smoked Salmon and Lemon Herbed Ricotta
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
- ½ cup water
- 8-12 ounces smoked salmon estimate 2-oz per serving
- Optional: capers for serving
For the Ricotta Mixture:
- 1 cup ricotta cheese I used whole milk
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill or more to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place flour, salt, eggs, milk, butter and water in a blender. Blend until well-combined. I recommend letting the batter sit for 30 minutes in the fridge for optimal consistency, but if in a pinch you can skip the resting time.
- While crepe batter is resting, combine ricotta, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Taste and add additional salt, pepper, lemon, and/or dill per personal preference. Set aside.
- Heat a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat until hot. Pour ¼ cup of batter into pan, quickly swirling it around to spread the batter evenly in the pan.
- Cook for 45-60 seconds, flip, then cook another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter.
- To assemble crepes, place 1-2 ounces of salmon on a crepe, then fold the crepe in half once and then again to form a wedge shape. Repeat with remaining crepes. Serve with lemon-herb ricotta cheese mixture and capers (if using). Enjoy!