Ditch Sandwich Bread And Try Lettuce Wraps At Your Next Picnic

Sandwiches are a classic picnic food for their ease of execution and transportability. However, fillings and condiments might sabotage sandwich bread before you reach your picnic destination. If you want to avoid soggy slices, ditch the sandwich bread and try lettuce wraps at your next picnic.

Lettuce is a refreshing, gluten-free and carbohydrate-free ingredient that makes for the perfect filling vessel and handheld meal. Whether you're using romaine, butter lettuce, or iceberg, the green vegetable can provide a malleable yet sturdy shell. Even if it gets smooshed, you can easily pop lettuce back into a sphere. Lettuce can be crunchy or soft, but it won't go stale or dry out.

The good news is that there are as many lettuce wrap recipes as there are sandwiches. With its mild flavor, lettuce is more versatile than bread and tortillas, allowing the possibility for more handheld recipes. For a sandwich bread swap, you could try this eggless egg salad wrap or this Philly cheesesteak lettuce wrap. Lettuce wraps are popular in Asian cuisine, so you could also prepare these ground pork lettuce wraps or crispy tofu wraps.

Tips for rolling and transporting lettuce wraps

While making a sandwich is as simple as layering bread with fillings and adding another piece of bread, lettuce wraps require different techniques. The best types of lettuce for wraps have a large leafy surface area and minimal central rib. A thick, crunchy rib, while texturally delicious, will impede smooth rolling.

Parchment paper and tin foil are ideal options for transporting lettuce wraps, and they also aid in rolling them up. You'll need to use a few leaves, overlapping yet staggered to create a sturdy outer shell with enough length to wrap. The layering technique starts with veggie toppings, then deli or other meats, followed by condiments; you can put any condiments on top of another lettuce leaf to keep the layers more or less in place. The meats will create a solid, sturdy core while cementing the loose toppings in place by compressing them into the layers of lettuce. The condiments inside the meat will act as the glue to which you'll attach the last smaller, center leaf. Topping everything off with a small leaf will keep all the layers in place once you've rolled everything up.

Use parchment paper or tin foil to guide you as you roll the wrap, sushi-style. A tighter wrap will create the most cohesive and secure lettuce wrap.