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Caprese Crepes

August 22, 2013

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A little disclaimer as I dive in to writing this post: I don’t think it will have much to do with food; I hope that won’t stop you from reading it.

This has become so much more than strictly a food blog; it’s a record of my life, seen through food.

There’s been so much going on in my life recently. This month my grandfather passed away. I turned 32. I spent hours searching for near-future and distant-future plane tickets. Paula and I started planning our wedding.

Caprese Crepes

I’ve been very sad but not surprised about my grandfather. He was diagnosed with cancer back in March, and refused treatment for the cancer itself (only accepting treatment for the pain). He still suffered greatly despite pain medications and could no longer walk. I think he may have been scared to face death, but I’d like to think that he was also a little relieved (and finally free from pain) when it arrived.

Since this had been going on since March, my family and I have all had some time to grieve already. It was still a shock the moment I heard the news that he had passed away. This weekend we are gathering in NJ/NY—his and my grandma’s home for as long as I’ve been alive—to have a memorial service for him.

Caprese Crepes

If I’d had the foresight to plan a blog post in honor of my grandfather, I might have chosen poppy seed bagels, after my sister’s and my nickname for our grandfather: Poppy. (A name that always reminded me, as a child, of the best-ever poppy seed bagels we would eat together, whenever I visited my grandparents in New York.)

Caprese CrepesPin it!

Instead I have a post for Caprese Crepes. Not quite as appropriate, though not entirely un-appropriate either; my grandfather always made sure to take us to some of the best (his favorite) Italian restaurants in New Jersey, where we’d enjoy pasta dishes far more decadent than these crepes, and where the restaurant owners often knew him by name. (Though, if you’re curious, my family is Jewish; not Italian.)

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We’d always go for “linner” (yes, that’s lunch + dinner; the largest meal of the day at 3pm), and he’d always bring a bottle of red wine along to the restaurant (gotta love all of those BYOB spots in New Jersey!). If we only drank half the bottle of wine, he’d cork the bottle with a plastic stopper and stick it into the cup-holder in the center console of the car as we drove home.

(Once I pointed out to him that according to “open container laws,” it was technically illegal to keep a half-empty bottle of red wine inside the passenger area of the car. His response was to drape a single tissue over the top of the bottle.)

Caprese Crepes

I will miss my grandfather immensely. It’s been an odd and unpleasant feeling, being so geographically removed from my grandparents as they’ve gone through so much recently. And despite feeling that I’d mostly come to terms with the reality of my grandfather’s health and my sadness about it, when I finally got word that he’d passed away, things suddenly felt different. Something had shifted in the world. Something was missing from it.

Tomorrow I fly to meet my family in New Jersey. I’m especially looking forward to seeing my grandma again.

Caprese Crepes

The past few months have driven home the point for me that the U.S. is so gigantic that you can live in the same country as your family, but still feel worlds away. That has been the single downside of living in California so far. But I’m glad that I’ll be able to join everyone this time; all the flying will be worth it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So: Caprese Crepes. This makes for an incredibly simple yet fancy-looking brunch, lunch, or dinner. (Or linner!)

Caprese Crepes

The crepe batter recipe is actually different than the previous one I posted (for Crepes with Homemade Applesauce). That batter was adapted from smitten kitchen, and while I still love it very much, I’ve found it less ideal for crepes that you want to fold up or roll up around some substantial amount of fillings, for the simple reason that they crisp up quite a bit and will actually crack apart if you try to fold them.

Caprese Crepes

Earlier this summer, the crepe recipe over at Spicie Foodie caught my eye, since her crepes looked utterly soft, floppy, and foldable—not at all like they’d crack apart upon wrapping them up around some juicy tomatoes and melty mozzarella.

Caprese Crepes

(This recipe also has the benefit of only needing to be whisked up within the hour in advance of crepe-making!)

Caprese Crepes

Whether you like your caprese in salad form or inside a crepe (not many things are not better inside a crepe!), I hope you are finding a way to enjoy the late summer tomatoes while they last.

Caprese Crepes

Print this recipe. (PDF)

RECIPE:

Caprese Crepes
(Crepe batter ingredients adapted from Spicie Foodie.)

(Makes about 10 crepes; Serves 4-5)

Ingredients for the crepe batter:
~ 2 eggs
~ 1¼ cups flour
~ 1 cup whole milk
~ ¾ cup water
~ 1 Tbsp. butter, melted (then slightly cooled)
~ ½ tsp. salt
~ ½ tsp. sugar (optional)
~ butter for the crepe pan

Ingredients for Caprese Crepes:
~ ripe tomato, thinly sliced
~ fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
~ fresh basil chiffonade
~ sea salt and black pepper
~ olive oil (1 Tbsp. or so per crepe)
~ balsamic vinegar (1-2 tsp. per crepe)

Special equipment needed:
~ 9-10″ non-stick pan or electric griddle
~ wooden crepe spreader (optional)

How to make it:

1. Make the crepe batter: In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the flour, adding the milk a little at a time to make sure the flour doesn’t clump too much. Whisk in the water, melted butter, salt, and sugar. (The batter should be pretty thin and liquidy.) Cover and let it sit out at room temperature for at least 45-60 minutes (or refrigerate overnight).

Caprese Crepes          Caprese Crepes

2. Make the crepes: Heat a non-stick pan or electric pancake griddle. Melt about ½ Tbsp. butter, spreading it around the surface before the first crepe, and adding more as needed. Measure ¼-⅓ cup crepe batter, depending on the size of crepes you want to make. Swirl the batter evenly around the pan, or twirl a wooden crepe spreader lightly over the center of the batter to spread it out into a larger circle. Cook for about 2 minutes on the first side, until the bottom is lightly browned and the crepe is flip-able. Flip and cook for at least another minute.

3. Assemble a Caprese Crepe: Once you’ve flipped your crepe to the other side, immediately place a few slices of mozzarella in the center so they can start to melt. Top the mozzarella with tomato slices and sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Cook for several minutes—you may need to lower the heat just a bit—until the mozzarella is sufficiently melty.

Caprese Crepes           Caprese Crepes

4. Just before serving, drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (Be careful not to get too much balsamic vinegar on the crepe itself or that part will become soggy.) Then use a spatula to carefully fold one third of the crepe in on each side. Transfer to a plate and serve warm.

Print this recipe! (PDF)

Caprese CrepesPin it!

Caprese CrepesPin it!

Related recipe posts:

Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad Slow-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta Crepes with Homemade Applesauce Heirloom Tomato Goat Cheese Tart
Heirloom Tomato Caprese Salad Slow-Roasted Tomato Bruschetta Crepes with Homemade Applesauce Heirloom Tomato Goat Cheese Tart
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67 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2013 8:49 am

    Thank you so much….I have gorgeous tomatoes,basil and fresh mozzarella….now I can go play…….YUM

    • August 22, 2013 9:27 am

      Nice! It’s such a classic combination of flavors that never gets old (in my opinion), especially with gorgeous summer-ripe tomatoes… enjoy!

  2. August 22, 2013 9:06 am

    yummy

  3. August 22, 2013 9:14 am

    My heart goes out to you. I’m sure he is so proud, and would love these crepes :)

  4. August 22, 2013 9:17 am

    Sorry about your loss but you are also starting a new life with Paula: a new beginning and something to look forward to.

    The recipe is awesome and I am going to try it soon. It’s something my whole family would enjoy.

    • August 22, 2013 9:29 am

      Thanks so much for your comment! You’re right; there are plenty of good things going on in my life right now too, and plenty more happy memories to look forward to. :)

      I hope you and your family all enjoy this recipe!

  5. August 22, 2013 9:38 am

    Wow, this is just wonderfully fresh and delicious…and you just gave me an idea! I’ll try this combination in a thin chapati:)

    • August 22, 2013 9:45 am

      Nice; that sounds good! It might be good on a dosa too… :)

      • August 22, 2013 10:22 am

        Oh yes, Allison, I can confirm that it will…there is dosa version called ‘uttapam’ that’s topped with tomatoes, onion, cilantro and sometimes cheese:)

      • August 22, 2013 8:30 pm

        Yum! I don’t think I’ve ever had that before (though I do like adding random things to dosas when I make them at home…). That sounds soooo good. :)

  6. August 22, 2013 9:40 am

    This looks beautiful! And my heartfelt wishes on the loss of your grandpa, I know what it feels like being geographically distant from family (I’m living in Argentina, my family’s back in Singapore), and how much you want to be there for them in their hour of need. I hope you’ll be strong for the memorial tomorrow, and that your family will bond strong in this difficult time. And congrats on your wedding!

    Take care,
    felicia

    • August 22, 2013 9:49 am

      Thanks for your comment, Felicia! Yes, I’m glad that at least I’m not living too far away to fly to New York on short notice. (One of several reasons I moved back to the states from Japan was to be at least a little closer to family… and actually my grandparents were probably the people who wanted me to move “home” the most! Even though they themselves are world travelers and even visited me in Japan once…)

      I hope you get to make it back to Singapore somewhat often even though you’re living in Argentina… that’s quite the trek!

  7. August 22, 2013 10:17 am

    It looks so great!!

  8. August 22, 2013 10:33 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for telling us some stories about your grandfather — I have the funniest image in my mind of a tissue-draped bottle of wine sitting in the car cup holder! I hope the time you spend with your family is comforting and restorative and that you enjoy planning your upcoming nuptials. (Oh, and thanks too for the recipe — I think I know what’s for dinner now.)

  9. debbeedoodles permalink
    August 22, 2013 10:47 am

    Such a delicate and fresh package. Love it!

  10. August 22, 2013 11:38 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss… I suppose he was a very proud man…
    2 days before my daughter’s birth,my husband’s aunt passed away from cancer in her liver..
    But you should think about your wedding now! it’s a wonderful event,full of happy memories…!
    Your crepes look stunning :) it’s a classic combination,that can’t go wrong!!Congrats on your wedding!!!!

    • August 22, 2013 8:35 pm

      Thank you. :) I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s aunt, but yes, that’s often how things go—sad events and happy events occurring one after the other. And you’re right that I have plenty of happy memories coming up to look forward to.

  11. August 22, 2013 12:36 pm

    Thank you for these touching stories — I laughed at your grandfather’s idea of a closed container :) I’m sorry for your loss, Allison. Thanks for the post and for the very delicious-looking crepes. Hope everything goes smoothly with your trip back east.

    • August 22, 2013 8:36 pm

      Thank you! I hope so, too… and yep, I know—he just had never worried about open containers before, and he wasn’t about to start just because I pointed it out (and just because it happened to be the law)! :)

  12. August 22, 2013 12:44 pm

    I hope your family and you find peace. Thank you for posting.

  13. August 22, 2013 1:12 pm

    È veramente triste che qualche volta tornare a casa sia dolore e gioia insieme. Mi dispiace per la tua perdita. La ricetta è molto carina: te lo dice una signora italiana! Ti aspetto sul mio blog. Ciao. Silva

    • August 22, 2013 8:41 pm

      Grazie, Silva! I can understand your Italian, but I don’t remember enough to respond in it… Don’t worry, I will definitely take it as high praise that an Italian woman complimented my recipe. :) Thanks for commenting!

      • August 23, 2013 12:37 am

        Don’t worry Allison, it’s the same for me. I can read your posts but I’m not sure I will write something you could understand! So let’s go on in this way: you in English and me in Italian, OK? Love. Silva

      • August 25, 2013 5:13 pm

        It’s a deal! :)

  14. August 22, 2013 1:45 pm

    Sorry for your loss and having to watch him suffer. At least he has found peace and may you and your family find peace, as well. The caprese crepe is quite a novel idea. Baby Lady loves caprese salads so I definitely have to make this.

    • August 22, 2013 8:42 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I love caprese salads too; it’s simply one of the best flavor combinations ever, in my (tomato-biased) opinion. Hope you enjoy it!

  15. August 22, 2013 4:03 pm

    Safe travels Allison. So sorry to hear of your loss and I can tell you loved your grandfather dearly.

    • August 22, 2013 8:44 pm

      Thank you! Yes, I did, even if we could never spend as much time together as I would have liked since we lived so far away from each other… (The closest I ever lived to my grandparents was when I went to college outside Philadelphia, and I could take the train up to NY, but after that I moved to Japan, then back to Philly for only a year, then to California.)

  16. August 22, 2013 4:31 pm

    what a lovely way to celebrate your granddad.. Allison.. I loveeee caprese salad. If you don’t mind, I’ll just look at your pix & satisfy myself. Its beautifully hot here in Toronto & I haven’t cooked in a while :)

    • August 22, 2013 8:45 pm

      I’m glad to hear you love caprese salad, too! It’s the best! Maybe since it’s so hot in Toronto, you should just make yourself a classic caprese salad instead of melting it into a crepe!? :)

  17. August 22, 2013 4:55 pm

    I’m sure your granddad is at peace, smiling from above after reading your post. We are big fans of Sunday “linner” in our family. And crepes. My teenage son is convinced he coined the term (oh the self assurance of youth) so I will be sure to show him this post.

    • August 22, 2013 8:48 pm

      Thanks for your comment. :) That’s pretty awesome/adorable that your son is convinced he coined the term “linner” (although probably the first time I heard it, I assumed that it was my grandparents who coined the term…). It’s great you and your family have linner on Sundays; I really like that idea! (Of course my grandparents were even more serious linner fans—they used to have linner 7 days a week!)

  18. August 23, 2013 5:31 am

    YUM!!!

  19. August 23, 2013 6:37 am

    i am so very sorry for your loss.
    what an eventful month for you, may the days ahead prove smoother for you and also, congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. enjoy this ride.

  20. August 23, 2013 7:41 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Congrats on your upcoming wedding, though!

    The last time I made crepes I was in eighth grade in my Home-Ec class–this photo makes me think it’s time to give them another go.

    • August 25, 2013 5:15 pm

      You made crepes in your eighth grade home-ec class?!? That is automatically a million times better than mine, where I can’t remember whether/what we cooked, but I do remember we had to learn to sew: 1) a pair of ill-fitting shorts, 2) a drawstring laundry bag. I think it’s time for you to return to crepe-making (even if I will never return to sewing)! :)

      • August 25, 2013 5:36 pm

        We did! Most of us used crepe-makers (horrid little unitaskers and it would have been far more useful to make them in a real pan), but we definitely made them!

      • August 25, 2013 6:54 pm

        Nice! Is a crepe-maker any different from the electric crepe/pancake griddle that I have (pictured above)? Or is it more like a waffle maker/tortilla press? I’m also not one for unitasking appliances, but my sisters got me that crepe griddle for my birthday one year and I love it, since 1) I make crepes often, 2) I can make them at the table—which is actually kind of far away from my counters, 3) I can use it for other things like pancakes—never have though—and yaki-niku, and dosas, which I’ve made quite a few times! :)

  21. August 23, 2013 1:17 pm

    What magic crepes I am dying to eat it so fresh and healthy :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • August 25, 2013 5:16 pm

      Thanks, Uru! I don’t know if “healthy” is the first word I’d use to describe these crepes, but they are not the un-healthiest either… and they are definitely fresh and delicious. :)

  22. August 25, 2013 5:40 am

    I am sorry to hear of your loss. However, your crepes look utterly amazing! There is no better combination better than basil, tomato and mozarella. I am absolutely making these next time I need a brunch idea! Yum!!!

    • August 25, 2013 5:19 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad to be able to give you a new idea for a perfect brunch! (If I were actually having lots of people over for brunch, I might make most of the crepes in advance and then just put them back on to warm them/melt the cheese right before serving.) And I am with you on the basil, tomato, mozzarella combination. I will always and forever be a fan of anything caprese.

  23. August 25, 2013 11:14 pm

    My condolences Allison. Your grandfather sounded like a loving, fun presence in your life. I especially love his concept of Linner :) In this day and age, chances are that families are split across a nation or indeed, the world. But that may only be in the physical sense. Am sure being with your family now will offer so much comfort. The crepes look terribly inviting! Take carexx

    • August 29, 2013 7:56 am

      Thank you, Carrie! I love my grandparents’ concept of linner, too. It was always a treat to go and visit them for so many reasons. It’s been good to visit with my family this week on the East Coast.

  24. August 25, 2013 11:30 pm

    Allison, I’m terribly sorry about your grandfather. I lost mine last summer and felt very sad that I wasn’t around when he left this world. I finally could visit him this summer. I hope you find comfort while you meet family members. And looking forward to hearing more updates on your wedding though. :) I love caprese crepe idea! I have never made it but my kids love crepes and I can make this as snack after school!

    • August 29, 2013 8:02 am

      Thanks, Nami! I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather, too. I assume he lived in Japan? That must have been difficult to live so far away from each other.
      When I lived in Japan, my grandparents mentioned how they’d like me to move “home” soon (to the U.S.) nearly every time we corresponded, because they thought I’d chosen to live too far away. (But they also loved traveling and came to visit me there once! They were on a cruise ship that stopped in Nagasaki for a day, so I took the trains down there from Okayama—before Kyuushuu had a shinkansen.)

      Anyway, I hope you get a chance to try these crepes out as an after school snack for your kids! (You can always make the crepes in advance, and then just warm them up a little when your kids get home from school to melt the cheese.)

  25. August 26, 2013 9:42 pm

    Hello!

    Your inspiring blog has been nominated for: The Versatile Blogger Award! You’ve been nominated by: Me! Visit my page to see your blog’s nomination. Scroll to the bottom!

    …and thanks for the great reads.

    http://nothymetowaste.org/2013/08/26/cursed-at-on-the-street-a-blogger-award-nomination/

  26. Danguole permalink
    August 26, 2013 10:31 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your grandfather. You can never prepare well enough, can you? Hugs!

    • August 29, 2013 8:09 am

      Thank you, Danguole! It’s true, you can never prepare for something like this. It’s been so lovely and helpful to have an even bigger circle of support thanks to readers of this blog, though.

  27. August 27, 2013 2:18 am

    we are extremely sorry to know about your Grandfather,we lost ours two years back and just can’t believe he is no more…but on a lighter note,caprese crepe is a very innovative idea,will love to try these scrumptious treats for breakfast tomorrow…

    • August 29, 2013 8:12 am

      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your grandfather, too. I think I will continue to forget and then remember again that he is really gone now.

      Anyway, thank you for stopping by my blog—I hope you get to enjoy your own caprese crepes sometime soon!

  28. August 27, 2013 8:46 am

    My sincere condolances Alison, for your loss; what a wonderful way to remember him; isn’t it amazing that we all have a bit of a food story with our loved ones? God bless him, and he would have loved these crepes, as we did!: ) Ozlem x

  29. August 27, 2013 10:52 pm

    Allison, so sorry for your loss. And congrats on your upcoming nuptial with Paula. Wedding planning is always fun and exciting and so is this caprese crepes. I love the salad so I know I’ll dig this. Delicious!

    • August 29, 2013 8:16 am

      Thank you, Anne! I know; caprese salad is the best. My mom and sister and I actually ordered a caprese salad to share on Saturday during our family “linner,” after the memorial service for my grandfather.

      I’m hoping the wedding planning will continue to be fun and that we’re giving ourselves enough time to make it not so stressful… it’s definitely exciting though!! :)

  30. August 28, 2013 11:03 pm

    Yummy!

  31. September 2, 2013 6:28 pm

    Oh, man. This has me thinking so wistfully/joyfully of my grandfather. He always had tamales for me when I came to LA from the east coast. Sometimes he’d have forgotten to pick them up and we’d drive around to the back of some Mexican store and he’d hurry into the service door and then emerge with a sack of tamales. He also taught me his secret margarita recipe and when I was really little he’d let me have a whole stick of gum even though my mom only even let me have half a piece. I was the one granddaughter who got invited to the breakfasts he’d have out with his friends (I wondered if he had some flicker of me being gay) and I’d impress them all with my use of hot sauce. A lot of my love of spicy food was because I wanted him to be proud of me. I sure do miss him.

    • September 5, 2013 9:55 am

      Wow, thanks for sharing such nice (food-related) memories of your grandfather! He sounds wonderful. It’s cute that he spoiled you with whole sticks of gum (I think my grandfather was probably like that with offering me wine at linner before I was technically old enough to have any). And I love that you found a love of spicy food through wanting to impress him with your use of hot sauce! That’s adorable, and I can totally imagine that happening; he must have been proud of you. :)

  32. September 5, 2013 4:14 am

    These are def ingredients that i enjoy mixing together. Looks really yammy on your photos. :)
    Btw i just found your blog & “Spontanious Tomato” just made me curious. Well chosen blog name ;)
    xo

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