These delicious crepes are filled with sauteed spinach and smoked salmon and then topped with a creamy lemon garlic sauce! Easily customizable and quick to make, savory crepes are perfect for breakfast, brunch or even a light dinner!
In Russia, the arrival of spring and the days leading up to Lent are celebrated with a weeklong festival called maslenitsa (масленица). The holiday is marked by eating mountains of crepes or blini (блины), both sweet and savory, which are said to symbolize the sun and bring warmth. We spent last year celebrating with friends and enjoying a make-your-own crepe bar and, although it’ll just be the two of us this year, we’re starting the festivities a few weeks early with these spinach and smoked salmon crepes!
If you’ve never made crepes before, it’s actually easier than you might think! Here are a few tips to help you get perfect crepes from your first batch:
- Always make sure your pan is hot before adding the batter — it should be close to the smoking point of butter.
- Use the first crepe to test the temperature and batter. Adjust accordingly.
- Crepes cook fast, especially after they are flipped. They only take about a minute and a half on one side and 30-40 seconds on the other. If your crepes are cooking slower than this, you may be adding too much batter to the pan (you only need 3-4 tablespoons) or your pan may not be hot enough.
smoked salmon and spinach filling
While Viktor tends to prefer sweet fillings for his crepes, I almost always crave something savory. We often compromise by eating a few of the first crepes with a bit of jam and then serving a savory brunch with the remaining stack. And then of course maybe a few leftover crepes with berries and homemade whipped cream for dessert!
One of our favorite options (and one of the easiest!) for a savory crepe is simply baby spinach and sliced smoked salmon. For the spinach portion, saute the fresh spinach with a bit of olive oil and garlic until wilted and tender. Then just slice your smoked salmon and layer it onto the crepes along with the spinach. And that’s really all there is to it!
If you’re cooking for a crowd, you might want to make your crepes and fillings ahead of time. To serve them warm, I would recommend assembling the crepes right before eating and then reheating them briefly in a dry skillet. This option is especially wonderful if you want to add something like cheese, which is best when slightly melty and gooey!
And while these crepes are definitely hearty enough to serve alone, I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest adding a fried egg with a runny yolk to round out the dish!
lemon garlic cream sauce
Because our crepe filling was so simple, we wanted to add a little something extra to really bring the dish together. And what better way to greet spring than with a bright and lemony garlic sauce! It’s an optional addition, but it only takes about 10 minutes to whip up and I highly recommend it if you have the ingredients on hand.
To make the cream sauce, first melt a bit of butter in a small saucepan. Add a few cloves of minced garlic and then stir in a tablespoon of flour to help thicken the sauce. Make sure to fully incorporate the flour into the butter and stir for several minutes before moving onto the next step — this will make sure you can’t taste the flour in the final sauce. Then pour in the heavy cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens. Finish the sauce by adding a bit of lemon juice and zest along with a pinch of fresh thyme. Other than garlic, these are the main flavorings of the sauce so feel free to add more or less to taste!
Finally, drizzle your lemon garlic cream sauce over the finished crepes, garnish with extra fresh thyme and enjoy!
For more delicious breakfast ideas, check out these recipes!
- puffed amaranth granola
- sweet coconut rice porridge
- cinnamon rolls
- churro waffles with chocolate sauce
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