My favorite time of day is early morning especially whenever I am able to spend any of that time out in the gardens. The thrill of discovering something fresh and new poking up through the soil, opening of buds and unfolding of leaves all give me incentive for the day. It makes me expect good things to happen and encourages me to look for new life developing around me. Right now we are harvesting mostly lettuce. Big, full, beautiful leafy heads — Boston bib, Buttercrunch and several other red leaf types for variety of texture and flavor.
There is no end to the beautiful salads that can be created with these crisp tender leaves and we’ve been using them in that way for most of our meals. We also enjoy them for a main meal in the form of Asian lettuce wraps, a favorite at the convent year-round, but especially nice in this warm weather.
Asian Lettuce Wraps
CHANGE SERVING SIZEwraps
- 16 lettuce leaves Boston Bibb or butter
- 1 lb. beef or turkey, ground, lean
- 1 tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 onion(s) large, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic fresh, minced
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp. ginger pickled or fresh, minced
- 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
- Asian chile pepper sauce (optional)
- 1 (8 oz.) can water chestnuts drained and finely chopped
- 1 bunch onion(s) green, chopped
- Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not to tear them.
- Set aside.
- In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 Tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary.
- Drain, and set aside to cool.
- Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently.
- Add the garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chile pepper sauce to the onions, and stir.
- Stir in chopped water chestnuts, green onions, sesame oil, and cooked beef; continue until the onions just begin to wilt, about 2 minutes.
- Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center.
- To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf.
- Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito, and enjoy!