Hello, I am back! I am so sorry for the lack of posts lately. CH arrived back in France on a Wednesday night and two days later, my parents came to visit us for 2 weeks. Needless to say, we have been busy but we had an absolutely amazing time with my parents, shared many great meals, many bottles of wine and lots of laughs.
However, all good things must come to an end and they are now on their flight home to Vancouver and CH and I are back in France (which isn’t so bad, now is it?!)
I hope you all had a great few weeks – enjoyed the Canada Day & Independence Day celebrations – and most of all, I hope you are enjoying all the amazing summer foods and drinks (and I hope you add the recipe below to your repertoire!)
I made these lettuce wraps a few weeks ago, when France was experiencing a slight heat wave. I wanted a light, easy to make meal that didn’t involve a lot of cooking time. I had been craving lettuce wraps and I don’t know why. A restaurant in Vancouver makes the most amazing Asian lettuce wraps, but since I am a few months away from having those, I figured I would make my own version. Although totally different, these lettuce wraps did not disappoint (and I might admit that I liked them better).
I actually ate these for 3 days in a row (I still cannot master cooking for just me!), but I didn’t mind because they were so good and a perfect summer meal – I even took them down to the river with a glass of wine one night. The black beans add a lot of depth and substance to an otherwise low-calorie meal, but they do not take away from the fresh & crunchy texture all of the vegetables and mango.
I made my salsa based off of this Pink Parsley recipe and then added in my own twist, with extra vegetables and of course, the black beans. I topped off the lettuce wraps with a touch of crème fraîche (substitute sour cream) and a few springs of cilantro and they were perfect. Now that CH is back in France, I will have to make these again because I know he will love them.
Anyways, if you are looking for a new summer recipe, this is it. As I said above, it makes for a great picnic item as they are easy to transport and stay fresh for quite a while (as long as you don’t assemble until you are ready to eat).
My only warning – do not make or eat these on a first date or during any type of event that you are trying to impress someone. They are incredibly messy to eat, so make sure you have a few napkins handy and maybe an ice cold beer nearby to wash them down!
Mango Salsa & Black Bean Lettuce Wraps
Yield: 4 servings (about 1 head of lettuce – which equates to 2 – 3 lettuce wraps each, depending on the size of the lettuce)
Prep Time: 20 minutes (with 1hr resting period)
Cook Time: 45 – 60 minutes (black beans) – optional, you can also use canned black beans
Mango Salsa & Black Bean Lettuce Wraps
- 1 head of iceberg or butter lettuce, washed and broken apart into separate leaves
- 1 cup of black beans, cooked (recipe below)
- 2 cups mango salsa (recipe below)
- 4 – 5 TBSP crème fraîche
- cilantro for garnish
Mango Salsa (makes about 2 cups)
- 1 mango, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup pineapple, diced (fresh is best but canned is also fine)
- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 english cucumber, diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 TSP olive oil
- 1/4 tsp chili powder (or to your liking)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup dried black beans (yields 1 cup cooked)
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed
- 1/4 yellow onion, chopped into large pieces
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- S&P, a dash of each
Instructions – Black Beans:
The night before you make this recipe, soak your black beans in cold water (read this site for more information about soaking/cooking dried beans – Link Here). Be sure to rinse the beans and discard the soaking water before proceeding.
The next day, place your beans, garlic, cumin and chili powder in a medium sized saucepan and cover with cold water (you want the water to be about an inch above the beans). Bring the beans to a boil over medium-high high. Once they have reached the boiling point, turn them down to a simmer and cover. Cook the beans for 45 minutes – 1 hr. Your cooking time with depend on the size of your bean, the age and the freshness. You will know they are cooked when you can mash them together with a fork or your fingers.
Remove the cooked beans from the pot & drain. Place in a bowl and allow the beans to cool.
(Recipe Note: You can also use canned black beans and add them directly into the mango salsa recipe below – just be sure to drain & rinse them thoroughly. Although I have not tried it yet, I am confident it would work well without affecting the overall flavour of the dish).
Instructions – Mango Salsa:
Prepare your salsa by dicing and placing all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the lime juice, olive oil and season to your liking with S&P.
Once the black beans have cooled to room temperature, add them to the salsa and mix well.
Place the mango & black bean salsa mixture in the fridge and allow it to rest for 1hr (this will allow the flavours to meld together and for the black beans to cool and absorb some of the additional flavour).
When you are ready to serve, take one of the washed lettuce leaves and lay it flat. Add a few spoonfuls of the mango salsa and black beans, a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle with cilantro. Fold the soft side of the lettuce (I call it the top of the lettuce leaf) towards the mixture and roll the lettuce leaf into a cigar shape.
Devour immediately & repeat with remaining ingredients.
A JBean French Cuisine Original Recipe. Inspiration taken from Pink Parsley’s Mango Salsa