Rainbow Power

Rainbow Wraps

1 bunch rainbow chard or collard greens, blanched
2 large beets, sliced into 1/2 inch-wide strips
5 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch-wide strips
Hummus (I use a locally-made version when I don’t’ have any homemade on hand)
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450. Place beet and carrot strips on large pan and douse with a generous covering of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper (a couple large pinches will do) and put into heated oven. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping the vegetables half way through.

Meanwhile –- blanche the large green leaves for approximately 2-3 minutes. When soft, plunge leaves into an ice bath in the sink to stop the greens from cooking further.

Arrange your workspace so your cooked veggies are near your greens and hummus. Take one cooked leaf and spread with 2 tbsp. hummus, a thin layer over most of the leaf. Then place a combination of about 8-10 roasted beet and carrot strips in the center. Wrap like a present (or a burrito), nice and tight. Serve in thick slices, like sushi, to see all of the beautiful colors of the dish. Have lots of dipping sauce and napkins on hand.

Dipping Sauce
1/4 c water
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp chopped peanuts – I like honey-roasted here
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp chili oil or chili paste

Whisk all ingredients until thoroughly combined – serve alongside wraps or drizzled over the top.

I brought these wraps to a dinner party – and they were delicious. Tender and complex in flavor, and very healthful. I love how many colors and textures there were in one dish. It was a nice transitional season food – the wintry root vegetables enveloped in tender spring chard with the tang of the sauce – a promise of warmer times and tastes.

The dinner party was relaxed, with all the art teachers chatting about job prospects, students and their own work . . . Our host was a formally trained chef, before he became an art teacher, and it showed. The meal was simple, yet completely and utterly sensuous – Conrad, our host, was like an athlete in a game, making the whole thing look easy. He was marvelous and swift in his kitchen, with each plate timed and cooked perfectly. It was beautiful to watch him in action, so deft and economic with his movements and ingredients – not heavy handed with any one flavor and perfectly at ease in his environment and passion for food.
On the menu:

Chilled German white wine – lovely!
Asparagus with caramelized onions and garlic aioli
Rainbow wraps a la leela
Cesar salad with fresh croutons
Polenta with smoked tomato sauce and seared honeyed summer squash
Chicken and salmon (none for me, but others were oohing and aah-ing)
Lemon shortbread (brought by another friend)

We later munched on the homemade granola sitting on his counter

The whole thing dinner was so nuanced and fresh – I was amazed and delighted to have someone of that skill cooking for me in his own home. I drove home so full and happy.

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