What I like about cooking is that it’s quite a calming, creative process where you have to stay focused but relaxed at the same time if you wish to approach it with lightheartedness and joy. And regardless of the end result, if you have cooked it with love, the food will always taste amazing!
Tried and tested strategy. *wink*
THE BACKSTORY OF THIS RECIPE
For today’s recipe, I would like to introduce you to chickpea flour. Extremely versatile, it’s also naturally gluten free and high in protein. It’s great in sweet and savoury dishes and it is a powerhouse of nutrients!
This roulade has a lovely smokey flavour given by the smoked tofu and a Mediterranean echo, infused by the Italian herbs and grilled veggies.
This dish is perfect as an entrée or as a main dish, enjoyed both hot or cold. The cheese sauce is also to die for! I have used the recipe from the lovely Rocco from Vegan Viking Kitchen.
He created this recipe for me knowing I have a nut allergy. And honestly, this cheese sauce will want to make you give up cheese for good; it’s savoury and intense, also works great as a tasty dip for nachos or toasted bread. Who thought vegan could be this easy and delicious, right?
All that being said, are we ready to take a culinary trip to Italy together? Let’s go!
For 2 people you will need the following ingredients:
- 50 gr of chickpea flour
- 100 ml water
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Smoked paprika
For the cheese sauce:
- 1 cup of full fat coconut milk
- 4 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- Salt 1/2 tsp
- 2 tsp of arrowroot powder (can be substituted by cornflour or plain flour if you can’t find arrowroot)
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- Smoked paprika
- Black pepper optional
For the filling of the crepes:
- 1 medium sized aubergine
- 1 red pepper ( I have used mini peppers but any type will work)
- 150gr smoked tofu
- 4 slices of vegan cheese ( I have used Violife)
- 10 leaves of fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- We will start by grilling the vegetables. Slice the aubergine and the peppers quite thinly. Place them on a griddle pan with a little bit of salt. Wait for them to create that lovely chargrilled look and slightly press them with a fork while grilling them to remove any excess water. Set aside and let cool down.
- Now let’s prepare the crepes. In a bowl, place all your dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, add the tomato purée and the water. Whisk until completely blended. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Whisk until there are no lumps and it is completely smooth. The texture we want to achieve is quite runny. So if you feel the need, add more water.
- Place a non stick pan on the stove on medium-low heat, pour the batter into a thin layer making sure it covers the entire surface of the pan. When you start seeing bubbles on the crepe flip it and cook it on the other side.
NOTE : Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly shaped. We will be folding it later and nobody will notice. Let’s be honest, a bit of messiness makes food tastes better!
- This batter should yield 3 medium-sized crepes. Set them aside and let them cool down.
- In the mean time, pre-heat the oven at 190 degree and lets start making the cheese sauce.
- Place all the ingredients in a pan and whisk. Put on medium heat and once it starts boiling, wait until it thickens. You should have a rich, creamy texture, easy to pour but that hold a bit of shape. If it looks too thick, just add a dash of water or of plant milk.
Now time to assemble!
- Place your crepe on a plate and start layering with the aubergine, peppers, smoked tofu, cheese and basil leaves. Add some salt and pepper if you think it’s needed.
- Roll into a tight burrito, cut the edges with a knife if needed, and slice vertically into small, thick rolls.
- Assemble them standing upright onto a baking sheet with parchment paper, making sure they stand next to each other, not only for support but also to make sure they won’t open during cooking.
- Place them in the oven and let them cook until the cheese has melted. Once ready, switch the oven into the grill function, turn your rolls horizontally and let them crisp up.
- Once ready and crunchy, put them on a plate and drizzle abundantly with the cheese sauce and a few scattered basil leaves.
- And….Bon appetit!
- This recipe will go perfectly with a side salad or even with some potato wedges!
- The crepes can be made in advance and frozen.
- They can also be used instead of tortilla wraps and used as an alternative to bread.
This dish is ideal for summer dinners in the garden. It’s filling and delicious, bursting with flavour but keeping you light and satisfied! I hope you will enjoy this new recipe and that it will make you savour the flavours of my beautiful country.
Sending everyone love,
Annalisa D’Agostino is a Reiki Master, also professionally pursuing holistic and spiritual counselling.
She enjoys cooking and making delicious vegan takes on everyday food.
So here you can find a little corner, TheVeganSense, where you will find recipes and Vegan insight to show love not only to your loved ones, but also the animals and the planet.
Follow her on Instagram @TheVeganSense