When sandwich wraps hit the market in a big way in the '80s, I thought, "This won't last." Boy, was I wrong. Almost 30 years later, wraps are more popular than ever, showing up in fast-food restaurants and highbrow bistros alike.
According to a recent New York Times article, Bobby Valentine, the current manager of the Boston Red Sox, has been credited with creating the first wrap at his restaurant in Stamford, Conn. He became desperate after his toaster had broken.
I, too, started making wraps at home out of desperation -- usually because I needed to pack a school lunch and the bread had gone bad. So I reached for the leftover burrito shells in the refrigerator and stuck to the usual cold sandwich standards, like turkey, bacon, cheese, a leaf of lettuce, and maybe a slice of tomato. If I wanted to get fancy I added sliced avocado. It makes a terrific sandwich, and wrapping all the ingredients makes for easier transporting and eating. So wraps quickly became my growing family's to-go lunch food.
But these days, I'm more likely to prepare a wrap for a stay-at-home dinner than a to-go lunch. And so my possibilities have opened up. The inside doesn't have to be cold and the sandwich doesn't have to be easily transported or even easy to eat on the go. Be adventuresome with flavor.
Today's recipe is such a sandwich: Filled with chopped, sauteed vegetables and seasoned liberally with oregano, rosemary, and sage, it is a warm, Italian-style wrap that will satisfy any sandwich lover for lunch or a light dinner.
Would you find it on the menu at a quaint Italian village restaurant? Probably not. But pour me a glass of chilled Orvieto and I can almost imagine I'm there.
Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to email@example.com. Or visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at kitchenscoop.com.
Chopped Mushroom Wrap
Start to finish: 12 minutes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (any color)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (see Note)
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (12-inch) sandwich wrap or whole-wheat flour tortilla
1/2 cup baby field greens
1/4 cup chopped tomato
Italian dressing (optional)
Heat oil in large skillet over medium; add mushrooms, peppers, and onions and saute for 3 minutes or until mushrooms release their liquid. Add Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper and mix well. Remove from heat.
Place tortilla on a plate and pile the greens and tomato in the center. Add sauteed vegetables and wrap tightly, tucking in edges if possible. Cut in half and serve immediately with Italian dressing, if desired.
Yield: 1 serving; easily doubled, tripled, etc.
Note: If you can't find Italian seasoning, use 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon each dried rosemary and sage.