Growing up in France, the traditional savoury buckwheat crêpes (“galettes de sarrasin”) were, and still are, one of my favourite dishes. We would have them almost every week at home when I was a child and as I grew up, the Parisian crêperies became a place where I would meet friends for dinner.
This recipe is a twist on the traditional French buckwheat crêpe made with some wild garlic I foraged near the farm. There is something so magical about foraging food from a forest. Wild garlic is in season right now in the UK. It grows in humid forests and woodlands. It is hard to miss as its garlicky smell is very easily recognisable.
Wild garlic has many health benefits and these benefits start well before eating it, at the foraging. Foraging is an opportunity to slow down, be present in the moment, be mindful of your surroundings and use all of your senses. Spending time in the forest – also known as Shinrin-yoku – has also been shown to have a significant effect on reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels2.
Traditionally wild garlic has been used as a medicinal plant for its pharmacological properties. It is rich in beneficial health components including sulfur3 and polyphenols. Wild garlic is especially known for being antimicrobial, antioxidant and having cardiovascular protective effects4.
There are many delicious ways of using wild garlic. Adding it to omelettes, making it into pesto and blending it into soups are some of my favourite ways of using it. This is slightly different but we loved it, let me know what you think if you make it.
Makes: 10 crêpes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Optional: overnight soaking
For the crêpes
250g (or 2 cups) of buckwheat flour
2 large eggs
1 big pinch of salt
About 500ml (or 4 cups) of filtered water
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
2 large handfuls of wild garlic
For the filling
5 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
40g of parmesan
80g of pine nuts
1 large handful of wild garlic
About 250g of mushrooms (I used oyster and shitake mushrooms)
- Add the buckwheat flour to a large glass mixing bowl and add water until a liquid creamy consistency is reached.
- Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm spot for about 12-24 hours to ferment. Buckwheat catches its sourdough starter bacteria very quickly so after 12 hours the batter should have small bubbles.
This step is optional but it makes the crêpe more nutritious as it reduces antinutrients, especially phytic acid which binds to minerals and inhibits their absorption.
- When the batter is ready to be used, add the remaining batter ingredients (eggs, extra virgin olive oil, chopped wild garlic and salt). Using a hand mixer, blend the ingredients until a smooth green batter forms. If the batter is too thick, add a little more water until it reaches a liquid cream consistency.
- Cover and place the batter in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Toast the pine nuts in a pan on low heat until golden brown.
Chop the parmesan and the remaining wild garlic into small pieces. Add 50g of pine nuts, the parmesan, the extra virgin olive oil and the wild garlic to a food processor. Pulse until a pesto consistency is achieved. Set the pesto aside.
- Finely chop the mushrooms and cook them in the pan. Set the mushrooms aside.
- In the same pan, fry an egg / eggs
- Heat a cast iron skillet or another frying pan over medium heat, add a bit of extra virgin olive oil and wipe the excess with a clean cloth, keeping the oiled cloth to wipe the pan between crêpes.
- Ladle a small amount of batter into the pan and quickly turn the pan so the batter is spread evenly and thinly. A crêpe spreader is a great utensil for this step!
- After small bubbles appear, flip the crêpe and allow it to cook for another minute.
You can make all the crêpes at once or make them as you go, wiping the pan with the oiled cloth in between.
- For the filling, spread a tablespoon of pesto in the middle of the crêpe, add some mushrooms, then the egg, I added a bit of grated cheese as well, and finish by sprinkling some of the remaining pine nuts on top. Serve immediately.
You can store the crêpes in the refrigerator for 3 days. I like having them the next day for a quick lunch filled with whatever I have on hand.
1. Ideno Y, Hayashi K, Abe Y, Ueda K, Iso H, Noda M, Lee JS, Suzuki S. Blood pressure-lowering effect of Shinrin-yoku (Forest bathing): a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2017 Aug 16;17(1):409. doi: 10.1186/s12906-017-1912-z. PMID: 28814305; PMCID: PMC5559777.
2. Antonelli M, Barbieri G, Donelli D. Effects of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on levels of cortisol as a stress biomarker: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Biometeorol. 2019 Aug;63(8):1117-1134. doi: 10.1007/s00484-019-01717-x. Epub 2019 Apr 18. PMID: 31001682.
3. Ingenbleek, Y., Kimura, H., Nutritional essentiality of sulfur in health and disease, Nutrition Reviews, 71(7), 413–432, https://doi.org/10.1111/nure.12050
4. Sobolewska, D., Podolak, I., & Makowska-Wąs, J. (2015). Allium ursinum: botanical, phytochemical and pharmacological overview. Phytochemistry reviews : proceedings of the Phytochemical Society of Europe, 14(1), 81–97. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-013-9334-0