Cherries, which always make me think of my grandma, as she loves them, made their debut at the market last weekend. She eats them as is, which we have mainly been doing as well. They’re a lot of work to cook or bake with, what with all the pitting, but could be worth it for the right recipe. In the meantime, we’ll pop ‘em in and spit out the pit, or cut a few up along with fresh market strawberries to top homemade chia seed pudding with.
Speaking of strawberries, one-ingredient ice cream using frozen bananas is like magic. I usually spin in any combination of nut butter, chocolate chips, shredded coconut or almonds. I’ve topped the ice cream with strawberries before, but last week I blended them right in to make a bright pink strawberry-banana concoction. Next time I mix in strawberries I may throw in some basil or lemon, or perhaps top it with aged balsamic. We’ve also been enjoying the market strawberries muddled with fresh squeezed lemon juice in seltzer for a refreshing summer drink.
Last week we spotted large collard green leaves, which I picked right up with the intention to finally try using them as wraps. In our experimenting we found out that they’re sturdy enough to support the fillings and also stay wrapped pretty well without creating too much of a mess. Blanching them quickly makes them easier to work with. This time around we went with a Mexican theme, but we have lots of other filling ideas spinning around in our heads. As Prem said, these “little parcels of food were delightful”, so we’ll definitely be making them again.
The great thing about wraps of any kind is you can let your creative juices flow. Consider the recipe below a guideline; feel free to add and remove ingredients to your liking. You may also need to adjust the quantities depending on the size of your leaves.
RECIPE: Collard Green Mexican Wrap
Serves 2, makes 4 wraps
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 4 collard greens, stem trimmed and shaved down
- ½ avocado
- lime or lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup of salad greens
- ½ tomato, diced
- ½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- 1 cup shredded and cooked chicken*
- 4 Tablespoons queso fresco or cotija
- 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
- Pickle the onion: Combine the onion along with the sugar, vinegar and water in a pan. Once it boils, cook for a couple minutes, stirring, until liquid begins to reduce. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Once cooled and ready to use, drain the onions from the liquid.
- Blanch the collard greens: Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl and keep it nearby. Boil a pot of water on the stove. Cook one leaf a time for 30 seconds each, using tongs to remove from the water and immediately move to the ice bath. Once cooled, pat dry and set aside.
- Scoop out the avocado and mash it in a bowl with citrus juice, salt, pepper and a dash of cayenne pepper, mixing together.
- Assemble the wraps: Lay out one collard green leaf on your work surface, or all 4 if you have the room. Spread a quarter of the avocado mix in a rectangle in the middle of the leaf, parallel to the stem. Top with a quarter of the remaining ingredients (pickled onions, tomato, cabbage, radish, chicken, cheese and cilantro). Fold ends over mixture and wrap like a burrito to seal. If not eating right away, wrap in foil or saran wrap. Repeat with remaining leaves.
*We cheated and bought a cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. If you’re going to make your own chicken season with salt, pepper and some cayenne if you’d like a kick.