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Don’t you just love seeing all the fresh green spears of asparagus in the spring! My family is crazy for it, probably because we only have it for a little while this time of the year when it is locally in season. That’s why I buy plenty of it while I can!

This recipe particularly excited me when I saw it. There is nothing more classic than the combination of ham and cheese; and when you add asparagus and buckwheat (another one of my favorites) you take it to a whole new level!

Buckwheat Crepes with Asparagus, Ham, and Gruyere

by David Tanis in the New York Times

apple works asparagusIngredients:

  • 1 cup/120 grams buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup/60 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 ½ pounds medium asparagus, trimmed and bottom parts peeled, if desired
  • 6 cooked ham slices
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese (or other Swiss style)

Directions:

  1. Make the batter: Whisk together flours, eggs, buttermilk and salt until well combined. Put the batter in the fridge for at least 2 hours or, preferably, overnight. If necessary, thin batter with a little more buttermilk or water, to the consistency of heavy cream.
  2. Heat a crepe pan or well-seasoned cast iron skillet, about 8 inches in diameter, over medium-high heat. Use a piece of paper towel to rub a little butter in the pan, then quickly ladle in about 1/4 cup of batter. Swirl the pan to spread the batter all the way to the perimeter. Let crepe brown on one side for a minute or so, until crisp. Flip it over with a spatula (or carefully with your fingers) and cook one minute more. Don’t worry about browning the second side. Adjust heat if crepe browns too quickly; the pan needn’t be scorching hot. Remove from heat if crepe is cooking too quickly.
  3. Remove the crepe from the pan and set it aside while you continue to make 5 more. Stack crepes on top of each other as they are finished. (Crepes may be made in advance.)
  4. Bring a medium pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the asparagus for 2 minutes, or just until it is firm-tender, then drain and spread on a clean kitchen towel to cool.
  5. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fill the crepes by laying each one top-side down, place a slice of ham on top, sprinkle generously with cheese, and lay 3 asparagus spears on top, off to one side. Fold over to make a half-moon.
  6. Put the filled crepes in one layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a little melted butter, then bake until they are crisp and the cheese is melted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately. This makes enough batter for 12 crepes.

My research unearthed some “fresh” asparagus recipes that I think you’re going to love. While there is nothing like simple steamed asparagus, these dishes use it some delicious new ways!

Spring Antipasto Platter

Shaved Asparagus with Arugula and Parmesan

Asparagus Pesto

Spanish Asparagus Revuelto

Baked Asparagus with Shiitakes and Couscous

Asparagus Salad – Italian Style