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Bite Of Minnesota: Tomato, Basil And Feta Crepes

Years ago, I spent some time living and working in Europe. I had recently finished college and was stuck in a rut eating anything that resembled "American" food like pizza, fast food and burgers. Luckily, that all came to a halt as soon as I got to Paris, France and started living on cheese-lined baguettes, produce from the farmers market, and lovely melt-in-your-mouth crepes.

In Paris, crepes were plentiful as each street corner seemed to have their own stand offering a variety of fillings. I always went with the honey crepe: it was simple and didn't make too much of a mess while walking, which was nice for a tourist like me.

Fast-forward years later and I still enjoy a good crepe, but don't always have time to make them myself. Luckily, Meritage in St. Paul runs a crepe stand over the lunch hour, with both sweet and savory crepes, and Marie Antoinette Crepes, a new addition to the St. Paul food truck scene, offers a sinful combination of Ghiradelli chocolate, banana and caramel. Click here for additional crepe ideas.

Tomato, Basil and Feta Crepe
(credit: Crystal Grobe)

On a recent trip to La Crosse, Wisconsin, I had brunch at The Root Note and dined on a fresh tomato, basil, and feta crepe with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Not only was this crepe delicious, but it was seasonal as well. What a good way to use up those summer tomatoes!

The recipe below uses a crepe batter recipe from Alton Brown and will give you more than you'll need for a typical meal - just freeze the remaining crepes for later use.

Tomato, Basil and Feta Crepes
(serves 4 + leftover crepes)

2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
4 oz. feta
12 leaves fresh basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.

Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone.

When ready to serve, reheat a crepe in the pan, add tomato slices, feta, and basil and fold into thirds to make a triangle. Slide onto the serving dish and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and enjoy.

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