After a fair amount of experimentation we think this dish is best eaten with one's fingers - leek layer by leek layer - tomatoes plucked from their vine - and the last drops of heavenly olive oil sopped up with a crêpe/sponge.
Crêpes Provençal with Poached Cherry Tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk
- 4 large eggs
- Pinch salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for griddle
Combine water, milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in the jar of a bar blender. Process until smooth. Add flour and blend. Add butter and blend just until batter is smooth and the consistency of a nice pourable cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at least 30 minutes before using.
Heat griddle over a medium low flame. Brush with melted butter - just so shiny. There should not be a butter puddle. Same as pancakes - first crêpe is usually a dud - so be prepared. Pour a scant 1/4 of batter onto griddle. Lift griddle and gentle tip and turn so that batter spreads naturally into a nice even thin circle - you are looking for something with about 1/16 inch thickness.
There are various schools of thought when it comes to crêpes. Some believe that they should be flipped and others say no - JAMAIS JAMAIS JAMAIS! In the end it all depends on your mood and/or expertise.
- 1 basic crêpe recipe, see above
- 1 pound cherry tomatoes, on vine if possible
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup olive oil
- 6 leeks, stem trimmed but attached, halved lengthwise and soaked free of grit
- Sea salt and freshly group pepper
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- Nice piece Parmesan, for grating
Prepare crêpes as above. Set tomatoes and garlic in a small saucepan. Add about 1 cup olive oil - or enough that tomatoes are about half way submerged. This might seem like an alarming amount but you will not ingest it all - extra can be set aside for future use. Set over low heat and gently poach until tomatoes are very very tender, almost falling apart. This all depends on the tomato but figure on about 30 minutes. Meanwhile. Heat oven to 425. Drizzle leeks with about 2 tablespoons olive oil (you may use the oil that is in saucepan by simply spooning it out and onto leeks). Season well with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast until tender and just nicely charred, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Gently warm crêpes if desire. Fill each crêpe with roasted leeks and a big spoonful ricotta cheese. Top with poached tomatoes and a hearty grating of cheese. Drizzle with some of the poaching oil and season well with salt and pepper before serving.