White Bean & Walnut Collard Wraps (Archive)



You might be thinking that this recipe looks like a pile of random ingredients. You would be correct. Basically I neglected to plan my last grocery shopping trip and came home with arbitrary and seemingly mismatched food stuff. Bitter melon? I’ll throw that in the cart. A mound of teff flour I’ll never ever get through? Why not. A pound of taro and a giant bouquet of culantro? Yes that is exactly what I need I-promise-I’ll-take-it-for-lunch-next-week.

The inspiration for these wraps came from the beautiful collard greens I found. Like every good food love story, I got to know the collard after a chance encounter at the farmer’s market. I soon found we had common food interests, but mulled over my options before committing to it. In the end I couldn’t help but fall in love with this big leafy green. I spoiled it with toppings. Showered it with hemp seed. I was familiar with its best friends avocado, onion, and tomato from way back, so I knew the collard would be cool. Ok jesus fine I’ll stop now.

Unsettling anecdotes aside, using a big ol’ collard green as a base makes for a fresh and pleasantly crunchy wrap. A good southerner always cooks them to death with ham hocks and a bucket of salt. Be the badass that leaves them raw.

White Bean & Walnut Puree

Makes 8 small wraps + extra puree

  • 6 c water (for cooking the beans)
  • 2/3 c white beans, dried
  • 1/3 c walnuts
  • 3.5 tbs lemon juice
  • 3 tbs water
  • 3 tbs reserved cooking liquid
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 tbs Better Than Bouillon vegetable stock paste
  • 1.5 tbs olive oil
  • ¾ tbs dried rosemary or a few sprigs fresh
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Sprinkling of red pepper flakes

The Other Stuff

  • 4 large collard green leaves
  • 8 grape tomatos
  • 1 avocado
  • Sliced red onion
  • Sprinkle of hemp seeds

Soak the white beans in water overnight, or for at least 6 hours. Let me back up a bit: use a white bean, any bean. I used great northern beans. You can use cannellini. Navy. Whatevs.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a pot. Add the beans, balsamic vinegar, vegetable stock paste, and rosemary. Cook until tender—around 30-45 minutes—stirring occasionally. Reserve 3 tbs of the cooking liquid and set aside.

When the beans are tender, drain and dump in a food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, walnuts, olive oil, cooking liquid, and water. Puree until smooth. The puree may already be salty enough with the addition of the cooking liquid, but add salt if needed, as well as freshly cracked pepper to taste. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for a kick. Process everything again until completely smooth.

Thinly slice red onion. Do the same to the avocado. Cut the grape tomatoes in half. De-stem the collard leaf, thereby cutting it into to pieces. On each piece, put a dollop of puree and divvy up the slices of onion, avocado, and tomatoes. Sprinkle hemp seeds on top. Then roll them up like fat taquitos.

OMG, amazing right? Now just go to town on those babies. You will have leftover puree, and you may do what you please with it. I had a fantastic time eating the rest with tortilla chips and carrots. Other uses include freshening your breath with it before a date, pretending it’s wet pet food and pissing off your cat, and applying it as a fungicide to your feet.

Notes & Tips:

  1. You will notice scum gathering in the middle of the pot as you cook the beans. Scoop it out for gods sake.
  2. If you use dried rosemary, you’ll have rosemary bits all over the beans. Don’t rinse the beans, don’t pursue a hopeless endeavor and try to pick all of the bits off. They’ll be delicious in the bean puree, and if you have serious issues with that then make sure you use fresh sprigs of rosemary.
  3. There are endless combinations of toppings for these mini wraps. If raw red onion is too much onion flavor for you, try slicing up some scallions. Add roasted red pepper to the mix. Add fresh bell pepper to the mix. Shredded carrots, lettuce, basil, chives, parsley….you can’t go wrong. Except for culantro – I did not enjoy that in the mix. Too many strong flavors present already.
  4. The puree is really just a dip. A hummus, if you will. So eat it like one too if collard wraps don’t appeal to you.

***Originally posted 7/2014***

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