Summer Presents

By • June 28, 2011 • 62 Comments



Author Notes: Crunchy, creamy, round flavors, relatively easy to make, here is a handful of hors d'oeuvre that travels like a pro. Please understand: these are lettuce rolls, not lettuce wraps. I started out thinking they would be wraps, but friends, I simply lack the manual dexterity and the patience to make lettuce wrap, even tender butter lettuce. So I rolled them and tied them, and I was perfectly happy with them. If you can do wraps, folding in all sides, you are a better person than I am and I salute you. If you can only roll, well, you've got company. Delicious whatever the presentation.

As for the wrapping for your presents, use scallions (separation described in Step 4). Many recipes like this want you to use chives, which, while delicious, will drive you mad with how easily they break during the wrapping and tying step. Give yourself a break.

And don't be afraid to stick a toothpick through the knot just to be sure everything holds together. This is hors d'oeuvres with people you care for, not a beauty contest. The point is that your guests love that you went to some effort for them, not that you were driven to tear out your hair. So distasteful on a party platter. - boulangere
boulangere

Food52 Review: Boulangere’s Summer Presents really are a gift of a recipe -- simple, tasty, quick to come together. This is a recipe you can turn to when you need a quick plate of something to bring to a party or to serve up to your guests. I loved the hint of lemon, the crunch of lettuce, the pop of the peas and the cheese-garlic shallot combo in the filling. I left some of my peas completely whole for that extra pop, and next time I may try doing a super-fast blanch and shock on the green onions to make them more compliant. Incidentally -- I wrapped half the filling into presents, and with the other half I added additional peas and some sweet onion, and tossed it with just boiled pasta – that was excellent as well! - aargersiaargersi

Makes 15 or so

  • 2 heads butter lettuce, separated, washed, spun
  • 1 cup sweet peas, blanched and cooled, or use frozen, defrosted
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large or 3 small shallots, fine dice
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 or 2 bunches scallions
  1. Wash and spin (in a salad spinner) leaves of butter lettuce. Trim off the ends of the cores.
  2. I used a bag of fresh English type sweet peas. I dropped them into boiling water for 4 minutes, pulled them out into a bowl if ice water to cool, then drained them. If you have fresh peas from your garden, treat them the same way. If you want to cut to the chase and use frozen, be my guest. Whichever version you are using, pour them into a flat-bottomed bowl and mash them with a hand masher. Don't go to the food processor for this one. The filling wants to look rustic, not perfectly homogenous.
  3. Add the ricotta, feta, Parmesan, shallots, lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes, and stir it all together. Season to taste with good salt and some grinds of pepper.
  4. Trim off the root end from about a dozen scallions. Starting at the former root end, split each one in half lengthwise. Separate into nice, long, intact usable ones and those that should go into a salad.
  5. Lay out lettuce leaves. Using a teaspoon (literally one with which you would stir tea), drop a spoonful of filling in the center of each leaf. Wrap it from right to left, slip a scallion stem underneath, bring both ends to the top, and carefully tie them once. Just once. Don't be discouraged if some of them break. Some will, some won't. Persevere. Arrange on a platter. Enjoy your party. Even if it is a party of 2. Maybe especially the latter.
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Tags: feta, lemon zest, lettuce rolls, parmesan, ricotta

Comments (62) Questions (1)

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17 days ago Stacey Martin

I'm late to the party, but do you think theses would work with something other than feta? I've tried and tried but I'm just not a fan. Maybe goat cheese would add the salty part? Not sure about the briny part.

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12 months ago JanetFL

I'm sure that these are as delicious as they are pretty, Cynthia. Looking forward to giving your recipe a try.

Dscn2212

12 months ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, and I hope you like them.

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12 months ago dymnyno

I am glad that you entered this recipe...reminds me to make a forgotten favorite for a couple of dinner party hors d oeurves next week.

Dscn2212

12 months ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Mary. I'm planning to make it for an afternoon gathering when in Reno for the son's wedding.

Copy_of_kate001

about 1 year ago Kate J Daley

I made these for my lunch yesterday and they are lovely. I will for sure be making them for guests. Full of flavor and very elegant

Dscn2212

about 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you, Kate! I'm so glad you enjoyed them. I'm taking them to a July 4 picnic.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

wow, what a sweet surprise! wifi connections in Italy & France are a bit sporadic, so I've been pretty out of touch. aagersi, your kind review made my morning; thank you very much. we're off to market day here in Provence and I'll carry all you sweet people with me in thought.

Kay_at_lake

about 3 years ago Kayb

Have just decided I'll do these for the brunch preceding my granddaughter's baby dedication ceremony, since her father's a vegetarian these days! (If he's going vegan, do you think I could use crumbled tofu or seitan instead of the ricotta and feta?)

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So sorry to take this long to answer, Kayb. I've been in the land of infrequent wifi connections with a device that made me long for a manual typewriter and a carrier pigeon. I'm guessing your lovely ceremony is past; nonetheless, I hope you experimented with tofu or seitan and can tell us about it. For what it's worth, I think they'd both be wonderful.

Checker

about 3 years ago checker

So pretty. So refreshing. Well done!

Dscn2212

almost 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you kindly, checker. Sorry to take so long to respond - see my reply to Kayb just above. It was actually kind of liberating to not have had reliable internet connections.

Lorigoldsby

about 3 years ago lorigoldsby

B....I'd roll with you anyday!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are too funny!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much.

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about 3 years ago Canned

These look great - WIll try them with ribs for the Fourth!!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Have fun!

Cakes

about 3 years ago Bevi

So adorable!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, thank you, Bevi!

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Little bundles of love! I can't wait to make these. I too have been unsuccessful in making great looking lettuce wraps - this is the perfect solution. They look just beautiful and I can think of all kinds of filling to work with. Thanks sooo much for posting this.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much. Have fun with them!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

My attempts at wrapping them looked like I'd made them with my toes.

Me

about 3 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Unfortunately, I completely understand.

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about 3 years ago lapadia

Love the "scallion tie" :)

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thanks!

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I made these today for lunch, cut the recipe in half (wish I hadn't) its so wonderful. I happened to have a head of butterhead and everything I needed for this and I so enjoyed it. Got me thinking of other ways to use it, tried a little on bread, delish!! Homemade focaccia! Ravioli? So bright and fresh and fantastic.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, so glad you liked them. We had some leftover filling, so today we puréed it into a batch of Italian vinaigrette. To die for! Love your thinking - I imagine it would make a great ravioli filling, and even sandwich spread.

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I just got a ravioli press and want to make ravioli and I want to use this filling. I think it would be a perfect summer pasta dish. I am not adept at rolling or wrapping to make them attractive like yours so thought I would lay out nice leaves of butterhead and let guests spoon it on and roll or wrap themselves along with the focaccia it would make the perfect summer dish.
Ravioli next just have to think about what kind of sauce to make for them.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, perfect on all counts! Your guests will love spooning it on their own leaves. And I promise you're going to love that ravioli press!

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love the idea of making into a vinagrette will have to try that also. This is one of those recipes that can morph into so many different dishes.
So excited to try out the ravioli press, always have done by hand but since my hands are on the fritz I have had to come up with ways to continue making the food I love to make and at the same time giving my hands a break. Any suggestions on a sauce that would be good with the ravioli?

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Browned butter with fried sage leaves?

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

That sounds really good. Thanks!

Ozoz_profile

about 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

They look the epitome of fresh, raw and green. Genius....in keeping with the wonderful things popping up on food52 this week!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Little bites of summer! Thank you, KB.

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about 3 years ago Sagegreen

Wonderful little bundles!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much!

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

wow

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You crack me up.

Sausage2

about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Delicious! These sound so fresh tasting! I hear you on not being patient enough to really roll. I'm a perennial over-stuffer, so I can never get things I roll or wrap to stay shut! (I mentally justify this by saying that it is the result of wanting to display a sense of abundance, ha.)

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I hear you!

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about 3 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

How lovely!!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, em.

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

These may be the most beautiful looking green things ever, what a lovely, lovely photo. I am thinking the best photo ever. I am inspired to try and roll them. I don't have scallions but I may try to tie them with chives.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yikes, I'm blushing! Use whatever you have. I was just thinking fennel fronds might work, too.

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

I am looking at how you have all the light green parts of the lettuce leaves on the bottom and the darker green on the top, and how the green and white on the scallions makes such a lovely design, it really is a perfect photo. I am just oogling it.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I wish I could tell you it was intentional. All I did was arrange them with the tops of the leaves facing the top, the knots facing up, and put the same number in each row. The rest was nature's work, which is much better than mine.