Lettuce Wraps with “Chickpea Flour Does It All” Caesar Dressing and 10 Reasons Why This Summer is Everything Wonderful

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There are so many reasons why this summer, the very one we’re living in right now, is my favorite of all my summers. I’m going to share a bunch of those reasons while I also tell you about this recipe.

I travel across New England all summer, every single week. {there’s reason #1: I travel every week} And during these weeks, I love to practice the rituals associated with travel, all of them, even the tough ones, like waiting in line for two hours at the border patrol coming back from Canada (ha, no, not that one). The rituals I really love are more organizationally-focused, like packing and unpacking a travel bag with ease, or optimizing a toiletry bag to ensure it’s always filled with my necessities, or finding ways to become acclimated to a new place fast. That’s, perhaps, my favorite.

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Quickest way to get acclimated fast? Fill your fridge with effortless snacks and familiar foods, like homemade granola, freshly cleaned sweet fruit, everything for an easy cocktail {there’s reason #2: Sbagliatos all summer}, and tortillas, so anything becomes a taco. When I don’t have tortillas, I use gigantic lettuce leaves, as in this example: Lettuce Wraps.

I want to take all the credit for these Lettuce Wraps, say that I was hanging out on the summer house deck {there’s reason #3: I have a summer house this year} with the sun squinting up my eyes and my belly panging for sustenance. In that moment, maybe I rushed to my filled up fridge and found all these ingredients, cleaned and ready to layer together for lunch.

Hmm, that’s not what happened. I was, in fact, at a restaurant more than a year ago. They gave me a very elegant salad wrapped with a scallion and I thought, whoa, why don’t we all do that? Finger food is fun {there’s reason #4: finger food all season}, but vegetables in the form of finger food is wow. So here we are.

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

I eat mostly healthy during the week {there’s reason #5: fresh healthy food everyday}, with splurges on the weekend. These Lettuce Wraps make it so my splurges seem very reasonable to me because a pile of fresh, raw vegetables are happily arranged on the same plate as my grilled steak or grilled pizza {there’s reason #6: we grill 4+ days a week, I even make bread on the grill}.

Now, you can most definitely get fancier with your take on these Lettuce Wraps; perhaps replace radishes with grilled fennel or cucumbers with pickled carrots. But I wanted to share the most basic of salad ingredients — just lettuce, cucumber, radish, parsley, and scallion. Nothing over the top, but beautiful together.

I say, take your dressing over the top and, in this case, I am carting Lindsey Love’s new cookbook Chickpea Flour Does It All back and forth all summer. {there’s reason #7: I’m reading cookbooks like novels again, finally} In this wonderful little book, Lindsey shares recipe for fab dishes that come together with the addition of chickpea flour (instead of traditional ingredients like butter, milk, cream, buttermilk, etc.). Why use chickpea flour instead? Because no dairy (reduced inflammation! vegetarian-friendly!) and more nourishment (chickpeas pack in lots of protein!) and gluten-free. I’ll buy that. In fact, I’ve bought the cookbook for many friends; it’s just that good.

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Lindsey has a wonderful recipe for Caesar Dressing, that she serves in a Baby Kale Caesar Salad. I serve it on everything. It gets tossed in a salad, spread in a tortilla or wrap, dabbed on top of a burger, and makes a nice dipping sauce for fries. If only they made it at my favorite Vermont burger spot, Worthy Burger, oy! {there’s reason #8: burgers and wine anytime}

I’d love to hear how you’re enjoying summer and the gorgeous vegetable combinations you come up with when you make these Lettuce Wraps. And if you’d like to keep up with my back and forth travels, I’m posting recipes and life photos on Instagram. I also post stories there too. {reason #9: Instagram launched stories, I love them so hard, I do}

But before you go, I have to tell you the most important reason why I love this summer more than any other summer, ever. I get to drive back and forth, a couple hours, several times per week. I get to talk, really talk, with my partner, and listen to new podcasts we love. I get to walk, take long walks with him and my dog, Ruby. Those walks and that alone time taking in one of the most beautiful regions of the world, no doubt, are everything. {reason #10: Getting to do reasons 1-9 plus all the summer things with the person I love}

Lettuce Wraps//eatboutique.com

Lettuce Wraps with "Chickpea Flour Does It All" Caesar Dressing

I use the Caesar Dressing from Lindsey Love’s new cookbook, Chickpea Flour Does It All. You can use whatever suits you, but definitely pick up this cookbook and give it a try. It’s dreamy.

Makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

For the Lettuce Wraps
  • 4 large butter lettuce leaves, plus extra for filling
  • 1 large cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • A few sprigs of parsley, leaves separated
  • 4 long scallions
  • Caesar Dressing, or dressing of your choice, for serving
For the "Chickpea Flour Does it All" Caesar Dressing
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons quality dijon mustard (preferably Maille)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Make the lettuce wraps
  1. Clean, de-stem, and prepare all the vegetables. Shred extra lettuce leaves for extra filling in the wrap. If the scallions seem too thick to bend and tie, thin them out by slicing off extra stems and slicing the entire scallion in half lengthwise.
  2. Lay out the scallion ties horizontally on a clean board. Place the lettuce leaf on the center of the scallion and fill with shredded lettuce, a few cucumber slices, a few radish slices, and a spring of parsley. Pull up both ends of the scallion and tie around the bundle of vegetables.
  3. Serve with the Caesar Dressing or dressing of your choice.
Make the Caesar Dressing
  1. Place the cashews in an upright high-speed blender; set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the water and flour. Turn the heat to medium and continue whisking. Whisk for 5 to 6 minutes, until the mixture thickens to about the consistency of a roux or melted cheese. Remove from the heat immediately and carefully add it to the blender.
  3. Add the oil, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper, to taste. Blend on high for 1 minute, stopping and scraping down the sides of the blender. Transfer to a lidded jar or cover with plastic wrap; place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days. When ready to use, place in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth and creamy; add water a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until dressing has reached a fluid consistency.
Photos taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio

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