Bite-size Pinwheels

There are dozens of small bite-size hors d’oeuvre and canapés in recipe books, and I create dozens for catered parties at the Berghoff Restaurant. Not many are gluten free. When I entertain at home sometimes I like to get fancy and serve a tray of canapés. One of my family’s former favorites was bite-size pinwheel canapés made from homemade French crepes. (Make the crepes, spread them with a variety of fillings, then roll them tightly, refrigerate them and finally, slice them into delicious little pinwheels.) French crepes, of course, are made from wheat flour.

I was thinking of all the gluten-free filings in the cookbook (egg salad, tuna salad, spinach dip, hummus, white bean dip, green onion dip) and also about last week’s blog recipe for Homemade Onion Soup Mix/Dip. And for those who are not lactose intolerant, the many readymade natural cheese spreads on the market. Any or all of these would make great fillings for pinwheels—if only I could find something gluten-free to wrap them in.

Gluten free bread, even my homemade bread, is too crumbly, not like what my kids call “soft cheesy white bread.” the kind they used to eat in school lunchrooms or some of their friends’ houses, which rolls up beautifully. My gluten-free pancakes are great, but a little too thick for rolling into pinwheels.

Just a few days ago I discovered the answer to the pinwheel problem: La Tortilla Factory Smart & Delicious Wraps, made from whole grain teff and millet flours and completely gluten-free.

gluten-free wrap

Using these I created four different kinds of pinwheels: red pepper hummus, egg salad, Homemade Onion Soup Mix/Dip and readymade cheddar-horseradish cheese spread.

A few tips: Always preheat each wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it and make it pliable for rolling. Spread the filling on the wrap while it is still slightly warm. And roll very, very tightly. Place the rolled wrap seam-side down on a plate or else wrap each tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Lastly, when you are ready to slice, use a super-sharp serrated knife. Discard both ends of the rolls where the pinwheel pattern falls apart (I just eat them).

Homemade Onion Soup Mix/Dip Pinwheels

Yield: 12 (1/2-inch thick) pinwheels

Homemade Onion Soup Mix/Dip Pinwheels



  1. Heat wrap in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Place onion dip in the center and spread evenly to the edges using a thin spatula.
  2. Starting on one side roll very tightly into a cylinder. Place seam-side down on a plate and cover with plastic wrap or place directly on plastic wrap and roll, folding under ends. Place seam-side down in the refrigerator for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  3. When ready to serve, unwrap, slice into ½-inch thick slices with a very sharp serrated knife. Place pinwheels on a serving plate. Dollop, if desired, with red pepper hummus.


Variations: Substitute ½ cup red pepper hummus for onion dip. Substitute ½ cup egg salad for onion dip. Substitute ½ cup of prepared Cheddar-horseradish cheese spread for onion dip. Garnish rolls with parsley, chipped radish, or contrasting dollops of dip.



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