Welcome Tribeca CSA members! I’ve been asked to be the “official” blogger for the week, so I’m happy to be the representative of a CSA that has brought me so much inspiration (and challenge) these past two-plus years. This week’s share (at left, clockwise from bottom) was cilantro, peas, green leaf lettuce, mint, sage, red spring onions, pak choi, and carrots. The challenge is how to use as many of these ingredients as possible.
For my regular readers, all five of you (thanks, mom!), you’ll remember when I wrote about my enthusiasm in Week 1 for salad and that I would be over lettuce by August. Well, it’s not even July and I’m done with lettuce. I’m now trying to come up with creative solutions.
So what better way to use up lettuce than by way of lettuce wraps. Thus, what follows is my lettuce wrap recipe. A couple of quick notes: I’m a firm believer in using what you have in your kitchen. I had some garlic scapes from another CSA, along with some Asian spices/oils. This was a good fit for this recipe. As for the cilantro, well, you may think this is not an Asian herb, but since the overwhelming majority of items in the swap box was cilantro, I’m guessing most members of the CSA are looking for a few good cilantro recipes (and you can’t say that cilantro isn’t an Asian vegetable if you’ve never tried it in a lettuce wrap!).
Asian Lettuce Wrap
- 1 head lettuce (this week, it was Romaine, and the large leaves – after being cleaned and dried – gave me approximately 15 leaves)
- 1 pound grilled chicken (I used organic breast meat)
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon wasabi powder
- 1 spring onion (I used one of the large ones from this week’s share)
- 4 carrots
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 3 garlic scapes
- 1/4 lime
Use 1T of the sesame oil to fry up the ground chicken (you can substitute beef, pork sausage or – eek – tofu). Season with soy and wasabi. Julienne dice the vegetables. Clean and dry the lettuce. When meat is cooked, transfer to a plate and add the other tablespoon of sesame oil. Unlike the picture above, sautee the carrots, then onion/garlic and finally add the cilantro (the carrots will take the longest to cook; you want them al dente; the onion whites should be translucent). Add vegetables to cleaned lettuce leaves; sprinkle meat along top; squirt with lime juice. Roll or “squinch” the lettuce leaves and enjoy!