Friday, May 13, 2011

Collard Wraps with Beet and Almond Butter Sauce

Dear Beets,

You know my love for you runs deep. I've been your admirer since the moment my mother first introduced me to you. You are sweet, earthy and a great color. I've had more of you than ever this year, enjoying your deliciousness all through the winter months. But it's May now, and it feels like summer here in Durham. With new seasons come new cravings and new beginnings and, since you're not a summer vegetable, it would be nice if you would stop appearing on my list of CSA veggies for a while.

I know I ordered you this week but it was because, quite honestly, I was sick of some Greens. As soon as I got you home I threw you in the oven to roast, still uncertain of how I would consume you. I had planed on giving Collard Wraps some love that night, and was looking forward to them mingling with Almond Butter's dipping sauce, when I saw you sitting on the counter. You were all blistered from the roast, looking tasty as ever though, and longing to be used. I decided to let you join your boy Almond Butter, and some of his crew, in the dipping sauce. Oh, sorry for the rough ride you all had in the Magic Bullet. He's promised to blend with more care next time.

Even though I thought you were amazing in the sauce, I would still rather we spent some time apart. I would really appreciate it if you packed up your stuff and let some more summery, exciting veggies set up camp for while. Please don't blame yourself for this Beets; it's not you, it's me. When I get tired of Tomatoes, Squash, and Zucchini I'll give you call. I know I'm fickle, but hey, you knew that when you met me. Take care Beets. Remember, this isn't a good bye, just a see you later.

Sincerely (but not yours),

Collard Wraps with Almond Butter Beet Sauce
Makes 4 wraps (Austin and I each ate 2)

Unless you're a dip enthusiast, you'll probably have some leftover sauce. Use it to dip raw veggies in or as a salad dressing.
  • 4 small beets, or about 3/4 cup chopped
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus extra for the beets
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper plus extra for the beets
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup water or more if you'd like a thinner sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4 large collard leaves, wiped clean
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into strips
  • 2 medium carrots, shaved with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 2 radishes, cut into thin strips
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place each beet on some foil, drizzle it in a teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Make a small sealed packet with each piece of foil and place them on a sheet pan or other oven safe dish. Cook the beets for about 40 minutes or until fork tender. Once they're cool enough to handle, the beets should be easy to peel by sliding the skin off with your hands.
2.  Place the roasted beets, almond butter, water, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
3.  Place the collard leaf darkest side down on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, slice of the top protruding part of the stem as Gena over at Choosing Raw indicates in this tutorial. Cut off any part of the stem that extends pass the leafy part of the collard. Arrange half of the vegetables to one side of the stem, going up and down the leaf. Fold in the top and bottom of the collard and start rolling the wrap from the side containing the filling to the opposite side. Place on a plate seam side down and slice on the bias if you'd like. Repeat the process for the other wraps. Dip the wrap into the almond butter and beet sauce and dig in.

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