Creamy Crêpes with Squash and Spicy Walnuts

These were a staple when I used to live alone, or have people over for dinner. Wheat spring roll pastries are the only ‘white’ flour food I eat, or that you will ever see on this site. I have not figured out how to make something whole grain and quite so thin myself, but the other ingredients are so healthy, and the wraps so thin, that a little bit of white sin occasionally won’t hurt you.

These were inspired by what my Polish grandmother called ‘Piroshkies’. She either filled them with ricotta (or maybe cottage) cheese such as these (which I never ate due to my dairy allergy), or with ground meat (vegan version coming soon). She did not use squash sauce or walnuts, but the flavours go fabulously well together. They are great for dinner parties or as an everyday meal.

This recipe is for 6 crêpes, but is easily increased by using an entire pack of tofu and adding just a little bit more of the other filling ingredients, the proportions are forgiving.

Materials and Methods

You will need:

1 large frying pan (preferably cast iron)

12 large-size wheat-based spring roll pastries (chilled or frozen), two for each roll

2 tbs. vegan margarine (for cooking)

Medium sized bowl

Saucepan

Fork

Pearing knife or peeler

Take spring roll pastries out of the freezer (if frozen) so they are ready to fill. Separate 12 from the pack and cover with a damp cloth to prevent dry-out. Refreeze the rest. If you can’t separate them, place all under a damp cloth and place remaining in a sealed bag/container in the fridge—use within 3-4 days.

 

springrollwraps

Sauce

½ butternut squash (cut in half between the seed-filled bulbous part and the neck; use either half and store the remaining one in the crisper for up to a week).

3 large garlic cloves

½ cup water

1 tbs. olive oil

1 tbs. maple syrup

½ ts. dried parsley flakes

¼ ts. sea salt (preferably coarse, but fine will do)

1/8 ts. ground black pepper (fresh is best)

1 spring of fresh or dried rosemary

squash_in_pot

Peel a squash (with a paring knife or peeler) then cut into chunks 2-3 cm x 2-3 cm (they don’t need to be perfect). Add to a medium sized pot.

Cut ends off garlic cloves and with skin still on, smash garlic against a cutting board with the palm of your hand. This will help remove the skin and release aromas. Remove skins and add garlic cloves to the pot of squash.

Add water, salt, pepper, maple syrup and olive oil to the pot.

Rub parsley between fingers as adding to pot.

Top the pile with the rosemary sprig.

Heat pot on stove at medium heat until contents come to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer (1-2 or low) and place lid on top slightly ajar so as to not boil over, but retain moisture.

Cook until soft, remove from heat and blend with a handwand. Should be smooth and pourable, if not add a little extra water, if too runny simmer a little longer with the lid off. Keep warm on low heat until use.

sauce_done

 

Filling

3 – 4 cloves of garlic

1 tbs. whole leaf dried sage (or ½ tbs. ground dried sage)

1 ts. dried leaf basil

½ ts. coarse sea salt (can use fine)

1 small dried cayenne pepper, or ½ ts. crushed chilis or 1.4 ts. cayenne pepper (powder)

herbs_b4

⅔ of a 450 g package of extra firm tofu

2 tbs. vegan ‘cream cheese’

1 tbs. nutritional yeast

1 ts. dried parsley flakes

½ ts. fresh ground black pepper

1 tbs. olive oil

 

Add garlic, sage, basil, salt and cayenne to a mortar and grind with pestle.

To a medium-sized mixing bowl add tofu, nutritional yeast, ‘cream cheese’ and the mortar mix.

Using a fork crumble tofu while evenly mixing in other ingredients until uniform and there are no big lumps.

tofu_mash

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley, mix well. Should have a ricotta-like consistency.

Set aside.

 

Spicy Walnuts

¼ cup walnut pieces of halves

1 ts. vegan margarine or coconut oil

¼ ts. crushed chilis

¼ ts. dried parsley flakes

sea salt and black pepper to taste (> ¼ ts/ of each, preferably both freshly ground).

1 ts. fresh or dried parsley (optional for garnish)

 

Heat a toaster oven (or oven) to 400°F (204°C).

Combine all ingredients on a small pan or oven safe dish—a toaster-oven pan, small cake tin or oven-safe clay bowl (such as shown) will work.

Bake for about 15 min. stirring every 5 min. until sugar has caramelized and walnuts are toasted.

Remove from heat or leave in cooling oven until ready for use.

nuts_done

Methods for Assembly and Preparation

Heat pan to a low-med (1-3 depending on stove, cooler is better than hotter).

Lay two spring roll pastries (double layer) on a clean counter and add 3 tbs. of filling in the middle but nearer the end closest to you.

fill

Fold the two sides (left and right) over the filling so they nearly meet in the middle.

Then roll the pastries starting from the edge closest to you. Press down so the roll is flattened and put on a plate.

Continue the process until you have 6 crêpe rolls or all your filling is used up.

Add margarine to the pan until melted and ensure pan is coated.

in_pan

Add stuffed crêpes and cook (with a lid on to keep moisture) for 5-10 min. until lightly golden.

Flip and do the same on the other side. They should be slightly crispy on the outside, not be crispy like a spring roll, and the pastry should remain soft on the inner layers (so do not overcook).

Serve on a plate, topped with squash sauce, followed by spicy walnuts, and if you like, a little parsley and fresh ground pepper.

Makes 6, or 2-3 servings as a meal or 6 as an appetizer.

done2

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