A luxurious brunch doesn't have to contain loads of fat.

A luxurious brunch doesn't have to contain loads of fat.

With a little effort, you can make something spectacular that will leave everyone feeling good for the rest of the day. This salmon crepe pie with plum tomato sauce, for example, is layered with delicious, healthful ingredients and makes an impressive presentation.

The dish starts with fresh crepes made from whole-wheat flour, low-fat milk and eggs.

Crepes can seem intimidating to make, but with a good nonstick pan it's not a lot more challenging than pancakes. To save time, you can make the crepes ahead, layer them between sheets of waxed paper and refrigerate for up to two days or freeze for up to a month.

Convenient smoked salmon is combined with fresh dill and lemon juice to make the filling for the pie. You also could use canned or fresh fish. For fresh, poach about 11/2 pounds (skin and bones removed) in water with a few bay leaves for eight to 10 minutes, then flake when cooled.

The warm salmon filling is layered with the crepes and fresh, peppery watercress, then served cut into wedges and topped with tomato sauce.

Start to finish: 1 hour

Servings: 8


For the crepes:

1 cup low-fat milk, plus more if needed

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

2 cups low-fat milk

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons fresh dill

4 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

2 (4-ounce) packages smoked salmon, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 bunch of watercress

For the plum tomato sauce:

15-ounce can crushed tomatoes

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 teaspoons cool water

1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste


To make the crepes, in a blender or food processor, combine the milk, flour, eggs, oil and salt. Process until smooth. Let batter stand for 15 minutes. Batter should be about the thickness of heavy cream; add milk if necessary.

Heat a 9- to 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Spritz pan with cooking spray, then hold pan at an angle and add about 1/3 cup batter to lower corner. Tilt pan to quickly and evenly spread batter over bottom. Cook crepe until top is dry and underside is lightly browned, about 1 minute. With a spatula, turn crepe over and cook until second side is browned, about 30 seconds more.

Slide crepe onto a plate. Repeat with remaining batter to make 6 crepes. Cover crepes with a kitchen towel and set aside.

To make salmon filling, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until steaming.

In a second small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in hot milk. Increase heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat and stir in the dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Stir salmon into sauce and set aside.

Remove and discard any thick stems from the watercress. Coarsely chop, then set aside.

To make tomato sauce, in a small saucepan over medium, combine the tomatoes and oil. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water. Stir into tomato sauce and let simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

To assemble, place 1 crepe in center of a large serving plate. Spoon about 2/3 cup salmon filling over crepe, smoothing it into an even layer. Scatter one-fifth of chopped watercress on top. Top with another crepe, then repeat layering process, finishing stack with sixth crepe. To serve, cut into 8 wedges and serve with warm tomato sauce.

Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 275 calories; 100 calories from fat; 3 grams fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 98 milligrams cholesterol; 21 g carbohydrate; 24 g protein; 3 g fiber; 712 mg sodium.