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My Imitation Of A Geneva “Food Truck”

February 20, 2011

In Geneva a few weeks ago, I stumbled upon food trucks in the center of the old town on a Saturday morning. I’m sure food truck isn’t nearly sophisticated enough a term for these vehicles, though! One was dedicated exclusively to crepes, and I managed to order a crepe with spinach, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds. (All in French, too! Geneva is much more welcoming to French-speaking Americans than Paris. Far less of that awful phenomenon where you start in French and they force you to switch to English.) The crepe was sublime. My husband had joined me for the weekend, and he had to restrain me from buying a crepe pan. Good  call, since we have nowhere to put it and besides that our trusty cast-iron skillet does just as well.

This morning, figuring out what to make for breakfast, I realized that this might be the perfect use for our ricotta. Happily, there is a great basic recipe for crepes in Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. Bittman does a great job setting you up with a foundation on which to experiment — true in this recipe as it is true in the book overall. We used his suggestions to come up with this:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 eggs (our were large, so we should have just used one)
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt

We whisked these together, poured them onto the buttered skillet, then swirled the batter about until it filled the edges, flipped 10 seconds after the top was dry, added filling, tucked the corners in, and then flipped again.

The filling in question? About 1/2 a cup of ricotta, 1/2 a cup of baby spinach, and a few handfuls of sunflower seeds, all stirred together. This was great as a huge voluminous filling but also spread as a thin layer on the crepe (my husband’s discovery). Amazingly, a tiny bit of powdered sugar enhanced all of the flavors. Definitely recommended.

One great thing about crepes is that they accommodate many styles. My husband prefers sweet to savory in general, so his involved various combinations of frozen blueberries, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, and butter. He also switched back and forth between fillings inside and fillings on the top, sometimes doing both. His favorite, below, was cinammon, sugar, and butter on the inside, with blueberries and a little powdered sugar on top.

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