The combo of sweet tomatoes, smoked ham and gooey, melty cheese is obviously bound to give you a home run of a dish, so this crispy stodgy crepe delight by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is a real classic.
- 600 g ripe plum tomatoes
- ½ bunch fresh basil (15 g)
- ½ lemon
- Red wine vinegar
- 125 g Comté cheese
- 125 g Gruyère cheese
- ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (15 g)
- 200 g handcut higher-welfare wafer-thin ham (use a mixture of smoked and cured)
WHITE ONION SAUCE
- 2 onions
- 1 large knob unsalted butter
- 4 tbsps plain flour
- 700 ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 1 whole nutmeg, for grating
- 30 g unsalted butter, plus extra for cooking
- 120 g plain flour
- 2 large free-range eggs
- 70 ml semi-skimmed milk
Score a cross on each tomato, then carefully plunge them into a large pan of boiling water for 45 secs, then drain in a colander and place in cold water. Peel away and discard the skins, then deseed the tomatoes and chop the flesh into 1-cm chunks.
Pick and finely chop the basil leaves, finely grate the lemon zest, then toss both with the tomatoes, a good splash of vinegar and a good pinch of sea salt.
To start the sauce, peel and finely chop the onions. Melt the butter in a pan on a medium heat, add the onions and cook for 15 mins, or until soft, stirring regularly.
For the crêpes, melt the butter and let it cool a little while you pile the flour into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle, whisk in the eggs, then gradually whisk in the milk and 70 ml water until smooth. Stir in the melted butter, then leave to sit while you finish the sauce.
Stir the flour into the onions to make a kind of roux, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Stir in the mustard and a few scrapings of nutmeg, season, simmer for 15 mins, then remove from the heat.
Put a 26-cm frying pan on a medium heat with a tiny knob of butter. Once melted, add just enough batter to coat the base of the pan, gently swirling to cover. Cook until lightly golden, then flip and cook on the other side.
Repeat with the remaining batter, wiping out the pan with a ball of kitchen paper and adding a tiny knob of butter each time – you should end up with 6 crepes.
Meanwhile, grate and mix the cheeses, pick and roughly chop the parsley leaves, and tear up the slices of ham.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Get yourself a deep ovenproof pan, 26-cm in diameter. Repeat layers of crepe, sauce, tomato (leaving any juices behind in the bowl), ham,
cheese and parsley until you’ve used up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of just sauce and cheese.
Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling, resting for 10 mins before serving.
Serve with a mixed garden salad with a French dressing made with walnut oil. Shave some walnuts on a box grater over the top of the salad for added crunch, if you like.
Recipe: Jamie Oliver / Photo: David Loftus. Courtesy of TLC Southeast Asia Jamie and Jimmy’s Food Fight Club S6 and Penguin Random House