Strawberry Lettuce Cups on Maine Public Radio

It sounds blasphemous to be bored of fresh strawberries, but after eating two quarts of them whole, and strawberry short cake for breakfast, lunch, and dinner... hey, it happens. But you can't stop eating fresh strawberries until Mother Nature says so. How ungrateful! For this very situation, on the brink of ODing, I bring you something new (and almost as easy!): strawberry lettuce cups. I was inspired by my Cambodian and Thai friends' fresh spring rolls, which use almost all the same ingredients.

Serves 4 as appetizer, first course, or side
Cooking time 15 min

1 plank rice noodles (vermicelli, aka super thin)
12 strawberries, large dice
shaved red onion, 1/2" long, enough to cover the bottom of a cereal bowl
juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 fresh thai chili pepper, minced (substitute 1/4 jalepeno or your favorite fresh chili)
12 small Boston lettuce leaves
12 leaves fresh mint, sliced super thin

Bring a pot of water to boil for cooking the rice noodles. While your waiting, mix the onion, lime, chili, strawberries, salt, and sugar in a cereal bowl. (Wash your hands after touching raw chilis to avoid unexpected stinging eyes). Add thin rice noodles to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Strain. Rinse off with cold water to cool. Wash lettuce leaves and spin dry in a lettuce spinner or roll gently in a clean towel. On each person's plate, put down three lettuce leaves. On each leaf put a small nest of rice noodles. Top noodles with a spoonful of strawberry-chili-lime mixture. Sprinkle mint shavings on top. Eat like tacos.

It's not every farm stand that sells strawberries, lettuce, and live lobster. Thanks to Alewive's Brook Farm in Cape Elizabeth, I was forced have strawberry lettuce cups and lobster dipped in butter for dinner. In this Maine Public Radio story, you can hear farmer Caitlin Jordan talking about growing strawberries and me cooking this recipe.

Alewive's Brook Farm
83 Old Ocean house Road, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

Meet Caitlin Jordan, the oldest daughter on the farm.