Aimée Wimbush-Bourque recently took home the Silver at the Taste Canada Awards, a celebration of Canada’s best cookbooks, for her latest book, ‘The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day’. Flipping through the pages, it’s clear to see that Aimée’s recipes are approachable and family-friendly, but with local ingredients and bold flavours, the recipes have a professional chef-quality to them. This chef-inspired taste probably comes from Aimée’s past working as a kitchen professional.
Our mouths were drooling as we browsed the pages of ‘The Simple Bites Kitchen’ so we asked Aimee to share one of her favourite recipes from the cookbook with us.
Here’s her recipe for Spinach Crêpes with Blueberry Compote:
My kids call these “Hulk Crêpes,” and they were a hit from the moment I tossed wilted spinach into the blender with my batter and fried up bright green crêpes for breakfast.
Of course these can be topped with anything you like, but we’re particularly fond of pairing them with wild blueberry compote. Use fresh or frozen blueberries for the compote.
The batter needs to rest in the refrigerator for a while, so plan accordingly. It can be prepared the evening before, so all you have to do in the morning is fry the crêpes.
4 tablespoons (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted, divided, plus more for cooking the crêpes
3 cups (750 mL) packed baby spinach
3 large eggs
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1½ cups (375 mL) 2% milk or leftover whey from Lighter Ricotta (page 224)
2 teaspoons (10 mL) raw cane sugar
1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon (2 mL) sea salt
1 tablespoon (15 mL) salted butter
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup
A squeeze of fresh lemon
To make the spinach crêpes, heat one tablespoon (15 mL) of the melted butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until bubbly.
Add spinach and sauté, stirring continually, for about a minute, until slightly wilted. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Crack the eggs into a bowl, then transfer them to a blender. Whip until frothy. Add the warm spinach and blend until liquefied.
Add the flour and blend again. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides. Add the milk, sugar, vanilla and salt; blend until smooth.
Add the remaining three tablespoons (45 mL) melted butter and blend for an additional minute.
Place the blender jug in the refrigerator and chill the batter for at least 2 hours or overnight.
When you’re ready to cook, briefly blend the batter one more time, as it will have separated.
Heat an eight- or 10-inch (20 or 25 cm) nonstick pan over medium heat. Brush pan with some melted butter and pour a scant ¼ cup (60 mL) of batter into the middle. Immediately lift the pan and tilt in a circular motion so the batter coats the pan in a circle. Cook for about one minute, until the edges are light golden.
Slip a flexible spatula under the crêpe and flip it with a delicate hand. Cook for an additional 30 seconds, then remove to a plate and fold into quarters. Keep warm under a clean tea towel. Repeat until all the crêpes are cooked.
To make the blueberry compote, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the blueberries and cook for four to five minutes, longer if the berries were frozen, stirring occasionally until the berries soften and turn blue- black.
Stir in the maple syrup and add a squeeze of lemon. Cook the sauce for an additional minute, then remove from heat and spoon over crêpes.
Excerpted from The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Copyright © 2017 by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque.
Photos copyright © Tim and Angela Chin. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.