Gluten Free Spinach and Ricotta Crepes Recipe
Whenever someone asks me where to start when embarking on a gluten free diet, one of things I am always telling them is that they need to start looking at the world of food in terms of what they CAN eat, not what they can’t. Despite appearances to the contrary, the foods we CAN eat far outweighs what we can’t. I also tell them when first starting out it is a good idea to concentrate on foods that are naturally gluten free.
This naturally gluten free Spinach and Ricotta Crepes recipe is proof positive that you can still eat beautiful, sumptuous food on a gluten free diet. There are no unusual, expensive ingredients in the recipe, it is not difficult to prepare and the result is not just “good for gluten free”, it is just plain GOOD!
One of the essential elements of this recipe is my versatile egg crepes recipe. Once you master this recipe (and trust me, that won’t take you long) you will be able to use the crepes in an almost endless variety of recipes. My full post on how to make gluten free egg crepes is here. By using fresh herbs and Nature’s Yoke’s organic, cage free eggs, the crepes are flavorful and healthy.
This is a lighter, quicker, completely pasta free version of manicotti and guess what? It is great not only for those of us on a gluten free diet but also for people who choose to eat low carb.
You can serve this dish for dinner and it also makes a lovely brunch dish. In fact with Mother’s Day coming up this might just come in handy if you plan to make Mommy breakfast (hello – boys of mine – hint, hint).
Whether you are new to a gluten free diet or an old hand at it, I hope you find that by focusing on the abundance of food that IS available to you; you will find plenty of reasons to celebrate your life style.
And for all you Moms or Moms-to-be out there, I hope you are celebrated this coming Mother’s Day as you very well should be!
- 5 large organic , cage free eggs
- 7 tablespoons water – use divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Kosher or fine sea salt and pepper
- Gluten free , non-stick cooking spray
- 2 tablespoon olive oil – use divided
- 4 cloves garlic , minced – use divided
- 6 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups ricotta cheese (part skim or full fat) at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese – use divided
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes , halved
- ½ cup fresh basil , chopped
With a fork, beat the eggs with 5 tablespoons water and a pinch of salt until the whites and yolks of the eggs are fully incorporated. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Heat a 6 inch non-stick crepe pan or small skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles immediately. Spray the pan with some cooking spray and wipe put the excess with a paper towel. Immediately ladle into the pan about 2 tablespoons (or enough to create a thin coating on the pan) of egg mixture. Tilt pan back and forth to evenly distribute the egg mixture. Cook about 2 minutes or until the edges come away from the pan slightly and the bottom is browned. Carefully flip over (I find a large silicon spatula the best tool for this job) and cook about one more minute then slide crepe out of pan onto a plate. Continue until you have 12 crepes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for about 10 seconds. Add the spinach, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Let cool then place the spinach in a paper towel and squeeze out all the water. Place the spinach in a mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese and ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese and nutmeg and mix well.
Spray a 9 inch by 12 inch baking dish with some cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mixture on each crepe, roll into a log and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat until all crepes have been filled and rolled. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 minutes or until the filling is warm.
While the crepes are heating, wipe out the skillet you sautéed the spinach in and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the remaining minced garlic cloves, sauté for 10 seconds then add the tomatoes, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper and 2 tablespoons of water. Cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have softened, about 8 minutes. Take the skillet off the heat and stir in the basil.
Top the crepes with the tomatoes and serve.
You can make this recipe up to a day ahead; sprinkle the prepared crepes with the parmesan cheese, top with the cooked tomatoes, cover with foil and refrigerate. Take out of the fridge for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven, and place the dish (with the foil on) in the oven to heat for about 15 minutes.
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