The Cook Awakening

Italian “Sushi”

May 22, 2012
Posted in: Food Sensitivities, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen

In an earlier life I did corporate catering in downtown San Francisco. Lately, I’ve been revisiting a lot of our standard recipes from those days. And revamping.

One of my favorites was Aram sandwiches – lavash bread moistened until it was pliable, spread with a cream cheese and herbed feta spread, topped with sliced meats, fresh tomato slices, and lettuce leaves, then rolled tightly and sliced to make beautiful pinwheel sandwiches.

Thing is, lavash is made with wheat. So, I haven’t had an Aram sandwich in quite awhile.

I’ve tried making them with coconut flour crepes, and they’re beautiful and tasty. But very fragile and a lot of work! First you have to make the crepes, then you still have to make the sandwiches. More work than I want to do on most days.

A few months back a friend was visiting. She slapped together a quick snack for herself and her son while they were here – a sheet of nori seaweed spread with some nut butter, quickly rolled up and munched.

Hmmmm… I thought. That’s a wrap. Damn. That’s a really quick and easy wrap! It’s gluten-free, and low carb to boot.

Uncut Italian "Sushi" rolls

I’ve been playing with them. The kids (at least one of them) love it. I can send it in their lunches whole. They can be a little hard to bite off, but I haven’t heard any huge complaints about that. Then I started to slice them like the Aram sandwiches, or like sushi rolls. Much easier to eat, although a little more complicated to send in a school lunch.

Cut Italian "Sushi"

I love the mixing and matching of flavors, colors and textures. These photos were my lunch today. One had smoked salmon and one proscuitto. Both had homemade mayo, avocado, flat leaf parsley, sun-dried tomato, onion, nutritional yeast and Celtic sea salt. My tummy and taste buds were very satisfied.

Here it is:

Italian “Sushi”
A wrap is a wrap is a wrap.

• 2 sheets of toasted nori seaweed
• spread of choice – homemade mayonnaise, sesame tahini, sunflower butter, whipped cream cheese, pesto, herbed feta – anything moistening that would go with your other chosen flavors
• sliced or flaked meat of choice – proscuitto, smoked salmon, canned sardines, smoked trout, sliced turkey or roast beef
• vegetables and herbs of choice – lettuce leaf, flat leaf parsley, fresh dill or basil, sliced tomato, avocado, marinated sundried tomato, capers, sliced red onion or a whole green onion
• sprinkle of Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
• optional sprinkle of nutritional yeast

Lay the nori flat onto a cutting board, shiny side down, with the lines going across rather than up and down.

Using a spatula or knife, cover the 2/3 of the nori sheets closest to you with a thin layer of your spread of choice. (Don’t be afraid of using the seed butters, they’re delicious! Think peanut butter and garlic in Satay sauce.)

Build your roll from there, adding your meat, your veggies or herbs and your sprinkles of yeast and salt and pepper, all on the 2/3 of the sheet toward you.

Starting with the edge closest to you, carefully roll up your “Sushi” away from you. Just before you finish rolling, wet the edge of the seaweed so it will stick and seal your roll. You can use a sushi mat if you have one.

Slice with a serrated knife, sawing with very little pressure so the contents of your roll don’t squish out the ends.

Makes a nice light lunch, and a unique antipasti appetizer.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012 at 12:02 am and is filed under Food Sensitivities, Just for Fun!, Recipes, The Simple Kitchen. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


2 Responses to “Italian “Sushi””

  1. Terra Says:

    Oh wow, these look great. My usual go to is a generic meat wrap. Some sort of thin sliced meats layered, with avocado, some veggies and maybe a cheese. Roll it up and eat it. Using the nori will be a new experience. The one thing about going grain free that I miss is sushi. Maybe if I dip these in some coconut aminos with wasabi I can imagine I am eating at Oco-time!

  2. admin Says:

    Terra, I just saw this! Sorry for the delay, I didn’t get an email notice.

    I bet Ocotime would make something like this if you asked them to. A rice-free nori roll. What a great idea. I may talk to one of our local sushi restaurants. I get a little tired of only being able to eat sashimi. Even the seaweed salads are loaded up with sugar.

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