This beautiful Tomato and Basil Savoury Crepe Cake came into being after the lovely people at ZZ2 delivered their Mouthwatering Box a short while back.
The box was filled to the brim with all kinds of tomatoes including LSL tomatoes, Romanitas, Bacio, Rigoletto, Sante as well as some onions, avos and sundried tomatoes. The brief was to create a dish using two or more of the ingredients in the box and to keep the ingredients the hero of the dish.
We’re at the end of Autumn with Winter not that far away but I wanted to be transported to Summer so the idea was to make something different yet summery and beautiful to be eaten outdoors with a glass of ice cold wine while celebrating beautifully ripe produce. And I’ve wanted to do a crepe cake in ages. If anyone understands tomatoes it is the Italians, so I immediately grabbed The Italian Cooking Course written by Katie Caldesi. I met Katie in 2007 in Tuscany when we cooked with her and her husband over a week in July. Since then her book is my go to Italian inspiration.
In the book she has a recipe for a fresh tomato sauce which does not use tinned tomatoes but fresh ones. The beauties in the ZZ2 Mouthwatering Box were just perfect to make the sauce and by combining it with these tasty basil pancakes which Katie also has a recipe for in the book, I think I have managed to create something different, summery and beautiful. This is would be a great brunch dish or a savoury addition to an afternoon tea table. Top it with some roasted tomatoes to add a splash of extra colour.
You can also tell ZZ2 what dish you would create with the same box of ingredients. Visit their Facebook page and leave your entry as a comment on the page. If your entry is drawn you will win your own ZZ2 Mouthwatering Box and a R1000 voucher from Checkers.
* I was invited to take part in the campaign.
- 4 eggs
- 250g flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500ml milk
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- 100g parmesan cheese, grated
- Tomato Sauce
- 1kg fresh and ripe tomatoes, quartered
- 4 sprigs basil (about 10 leaves)
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 75ml olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peel and squashed
- 2 fresh chillies, chopped
- salt and ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Roasted Tomatoes
- 600g vine tomatoes
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt and black pepper
- fresh basil for garnish
- Make the sauce:
- Place the tomatoes, onion and 2 sprigs of basil in a large heavy-based saucepan.
- Cover the pan with the lid and cook over a medium heat for 45 minutes, shaking the pan every 5 minutes, until the tomatoes have released their juices and softened.
- Remove the basil.
- Remove from the heat and use a stick blender to blend the tomatoes to a smooth sauce.
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic cloves and chili.
- Gently fry the garlic and chili for a few minutes and add the tomato sauce and rest of the basil.
- Check the seasoning and add the sugar to taste.
- Bring the sauce to the boil, then let it simmer over a low heat, uncovered, for about 45 minutes until reduced and a concentrated flavour.
- Roasted Tomatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
- Place the tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
- Roast for 30 minutes until the tomatoes and cooked and the skins blistered.
- Set aside
- Make the pancakes:
- Whisk the eggs, oil and salt in a bowl and add the flour and milk a little add a time, whisking well after each addition, making sure the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Stir in the herbs and let the mixture stand for 30 minutes.
- Oil a non stick frying pan with a bit of extra oil and pour a ladleful of the batter in the pan, tilting it to spread the mixture evenly.
- Turn the pancake over after 2 minutes and cook on the other side.
- Repeat the process until all the batter is used up.
- Set the oven temp down to 180 degrees C
- Lightly grease a spring form cake tin and place it on a baking tray.
- Place a pancake on the bottom of the tin, top with some tomato sauce and sprinkle of cheese.
- Build up layers of pancakes, sauce and cheese and finish with a layer of sauce topped with cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let it stand for 10 minutes, remove from the tin and place on a serving dish.
- Serve topped with the roasted tomatoes and fresh basil and serve
Adapted from Katie Caldesi