Using cabbage leaves to make wraps is an ingenious way of upping your vegetable intake. They have a lovely crunchy texture and work surprisingly well in place of a tortilla or rice paper wrap. In the States these are often made with the leaves of collard greens, but in the UK the closest vegetable we have to this is spring greens. You could also use hispi, pointed or Savoy cabbage leaves, or swap the leaves for wholemeal or seeded tortilla wraps if you are trying to get in some carbs before exercise.
Serves 4 (makes 8 wraps)
8 large, outer spring green leaves
2 carrots, grated
¼ small red cabbage, very finely shredded
1 ripe avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
1 punnet of salad cress, snipped
For the dressing/dipping sauce:
4 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup or runny honey
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To make the dressing/dipping sauce, put all the ingredients into a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well until completely combined, then add warm water 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing after each addition until you reach a drizzling/ dipping consistency.
Heat a medium frying pan three-quarters full of hot water and bring to a simmer. Cut the woody stem from the very bottom of each spring green leaf, leaving as much of the leaf as possible intact. Dip each leaf, one at a time, into the hot water for 10 seconds or until wilted and bright green in colour. Remove and leave to one side.
Spread the leaves out on a board. Divide the houmous between the leaves and spread it out.
Arrange a little grated carrot, shredded red cabbage, sliced avocado and cress in the middle of each leaf. Drizzle each pile of vegetables with a little dressing, then fold the sides of the leaves inwards over the filling and roll up from the bottom, enclosing the mixture completely.
Place the wraps, edge side down, on a board and slice them diagonally through the middle, then serve with the dipping sauce in a bowl on the side.
Tip: How to soften cabbage leaves
If you don’t have time to blanch the cabbage leaves, you can put them in the microwave for 10–12 seconds to soften them.
Recipe extracted from Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Fit Food by Gordon Ramsay, published by Hodder & Stoughton, out 4th January, £25
Photographer: Jamie Orlando Smith