Make Ahead

Summer Presents

June 28, 2011
2 Ratings
  • Makes 15 or so
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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! - aargersi —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stacey Martin
    Stacey Martin
  • JanetFL
  • dymnyno
  • Kate J Daley
    Kate J Daley
  • boulangere

53 Reviews

Blake September 17, 2023
Would be good with ricotta salata instead of feta I would imagine?
Stacey M. July 6, 2014
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.
JanetFL July 25, 2013
I'm sure that these are as delicious as they are pretty, Cynthia. Looking forward to giving your recipe a try.
boulangere July 26, 2013
Thank you so much, and I hope you like them.
dymnyno July 24, 2013
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.
boulangere July 24, 2013
Thank you, Mary. I'm planning to make it for an afternoon gathering when in Reno for the son's wedding.
Kate J. June 10, 2013
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
boulangere June 10, 2013
Thank you, Kate! I'm so glad you enjoyed them. I'm taking them to a July 4 picnic.
boulangere July 16, 2011
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.
Kayb July 7, 2011
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?)
boulangere July 27, 2011
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 July 7, 2011
So pretty. So refreshing. Well done!
boulangere July 27, 2011
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 July 4, 2011
B....I'd roll with you anyday!
boulangere July 4, 2011
You are too funny!
Ohhh... what pretty little bundles!
boulangere July 4, 2011
Thank you so much.
Canned July 2, 2011
These look great - WIll try them with ribs for the Fourth!!
boulangere July 2, 2011
Have fun!
Bevi June 30, 2011
So adorable!
boulangere June 30, 2011
Oh, thank you, Bevi!
TheWimpyVegetarian June 29, 2011
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.
boulangere June 29, 2011
Thank you so much. Have fun with them!
boulangere June 29, 2011
My attempts at wrapping them looked like I'd made them with my toes.
TheWimpyVegetarian June 29, 2011
Unfortunately, I completely understand.
lapadia June 29, 2011
Love the "scallion tie" :)
boulangere June 29, 2011
Kitchen B. June 29, 2011
They look the epitome of fresh, raw and green. keeping with the wonderful things popping up on food52 this week!
boulangere June 29, 2011
Little bites of summer! Thank you, KB.
Sagegreen June 29, 2011
Wonderful little bundles!
boulangere June 29, 2011
Thank you so much!
drbabs June 29, 2011
boulangere June 29, 2011
You crack me up.
fiveandspice June 29, 2011
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.)
boulangere July 4, 2011
I hear you!
em-i-lis June 29, 2011
How lovely!!
boulangere June 29, 2011
Thank you so much, em.
wssmom June 29, 2011
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.
boulangere June 29, 2011
Yikes, I'm blushing! Use whatever you have. I was just thinking fennel fronds might work, too.
wssmom June 29, 2011
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.
boulangere June 29, 2011
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.