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Heart of Palm “Carnitas” Lettuce Wraps

palm heart carnitas

Heart of Palm “Carnitas” Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

1 head red leaf lettuce, preferably wilted slightly

for the Heart of Palm “Carnitas”
1 14.5oz can or jar whole hearts of palm packed in water
1/2 medium onion
1 cup vegetable stock




for the Roasted Tomato Crema
1/2 cup roasted sunflower kernels
1.5 cups cauliflower florets
1-2 serrano peppers, depending on how spicy you want the crema
1 lb fresh tomato(es)
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 meyer lemon, or to taste
Salt to taste

carnitas



Method

Finely slice the onion and saute in water to caramelize.

Meanwhile, cut each palm heart in half lengthwise. Use your fingers or a fork to shred the tender interior. The exterior is often too tough to shred using this method. If this is the case, a small paring knife can be used to slice the outer portions into thin strips.

When onion has caramelized, fold in the shredded heart of palm. Add the vegetable stock in increments as needed, using a spatula to scrape the bottom of the skillet (if using cast-iron) to mix in the especially caramelized bits throughout. Add the remaining vegetable stock and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid is absorbed.

for the Roasted Tomato Crema
In a soup pot, boil or steam the cauliflower. Slice the tomatoes (if using cherry tomatoes, skip this step). Arrange on a cookie sheet or oven pan, with the 1-2 serrano peppers and 2 cloves garlic, and broil on low for 7-10 minutes, checking once to rotate the peppers. Turn off broiler, remove the pan, and let cool for a few minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree the steamed (now slightly cooled) cauliflower with 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic and lemon juice. Add small amounts of vegetable stock or cauliflower water if necessary, if liquid is needed to blend. Blend until smooth. Cut the serrano pepper in half lengthwise. The skin will peel right off, and the seeds will be easy to remove with a paring knife. Unless you know you you can tolerate a lot of heat, reserve the seeds and add one pepper at a time, blending and taste-testing as you go to adjust the level of heat for the crema. Use the same method for adding the seeds.




for the Lettuce Wraps
Spread an even layer of roasted tomato crema over the interior of each lettuce leaf. In the fold, arrange the heart of palm carnitas from one end to the other. Tightly wrap each leaf like a taquito, holding down both sides as you roll to keep the filling from escaping.
heart of palm carnitas

lettuce wrap carnitas

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