Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Lettuce-Wrap Burritos

I bought a head of greenleaf lettuce with good intentions, then made two anemic side-salads with a couple of cherry tomatoes and straight balsamic vinegar.  It was time to either make a real salad or come up with a creative use for the lettuce.

The thing about recipes on the internet is that you come up with what sounds like a unique idea, give it a logical name, and google it to find dozens of recipes.  Usually, none of them are exactly what you had in mind, but they give you a starting point.

My starting point was that none of the lettuce "tacos" used greenleaf.  They all used something sturdier with a central spine like bibb, romaine, or endive.  That ruled out a taco that wouldn't fall apart, but not something wrapped.  I settled on a sushi hand-roll approach and started to think of fillings.  Basically, I went through the pantry and freezer, until I only had to buy cheese.  How did I run out of all cheeses except cream cheese?  Whatever.

I'm going to list what I put in mine, but this idea will work with whatever you like in your burritos.  It was vegetarian night; I saw several versions with cooked ground turkey or diced chicken breast.  All of the avocados at the market were hard, so I used a spoonful of zucchini spread instead of guacamole.

The experiment did get pretty messy when I ate them out of hand.  It works a little better with a knife and fork.  It's kind of an inside-out salad, and it tastes a lot like whatever lettuce you used.  I didn't miss the tortilla, partly because it was the day I made creamed corn.  I think it would have been satisfying anyway because of the beans.

*8 large lettuce leaves
1 batch not-refried beans
*1 C guacamole or zucchini spread
8 oz grape or cherry tomatoes, split
4 oz shredded cheese
cilantro for garnish

1.  Lay out lettuce leaves on a platter, spine down.

2.  Spoon beans on center of leaves first, followed by guacamole.  Sprinkle on tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro.

3.  To make hand rolls, carefully pull in sides and secure with a toothpick if necessary.  Either use utensils or eat from the leafy end down to the base.  Other possible garnishes include onions sour cream, or anything else you like in a burrito.

Difficulty rating  π

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