Grilled Apricot Lettuce Wraps with Thai Herbs

This is a delicious and light vegetable recipe to pair with your grilled dishes. Grilling stone fruit concentrates the sweetness. By adding the refreshing flavors of Thai herbs, you can create an appetizing starter or side dish for your summer meal.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

3 tablespoons honey, or your liquid sweetener of choice

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

warm water

Chili flakes, optional

6 apricots, slightly ripe, but not soft, Peaches or nectarines are good substitutes

1/2 cup water chestnuts, canned or fresh

3 tablespoons mint leaves

3 tablespoons basil leaves

3 tablespoons cilantro leaves and stems

1 tablespoon minced red Thai chili, plus extra for garnish

1/2 lime, plus extra for garnish

Sea salt

1 head butter or Boston lettuce

1/4 cup smooth almond butter

1 1/2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 clove garlic, chopped

3 dates, pitted

2 scallions, for garnish, optional

1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts or almonds, chopped, optional

Directions

  1. Heat a heavy-duty (preferably cast-iron) grill pan over medium-high. Combine the honey, white balsamic vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of warm tap water in a small mixing bowl. Slice the apricots in half, and remove and discard the pits. Dip the apricot halves in the honey-vinegar glaze, then place cut side down on the hot grill pan. Brush the outside of the apricots with a little extra glaze.
  2. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the water chestnuts, and add them to a medium mixing bowl. When the apricots begin to soften and caramelize, after about 4–6 minutes, remove them from the pan and chill in the refrigerator while you finish chopping the other ingredients.
  3. Slice the mint, basil, and cilantro. Add to the mixing bowl. Slice the red Thai chili, and add to the bowl. Remove the apricots from the refrigerator, coarsely chop, and add to the mixing bowl. Squeeze half of a lime into the bowl. Season with a pinch of sea salt and mix gently to combine.
  4. Remove the tougher outer leaves of the lettuce, and pull at least 4 to 6 of the more tender inner leaves to use as cups. Fill each one with a generous ¼ cup of the apricot-herb mixture.
  5. In a blender, combine almond butter, tamari, tamarind paste, ginger, garlic, dates, and a few tablespoons of water. Drizzle sauce over the lettuce cups or serve as a dressing on the side. Garnish with chopped nuts.