features < home the secret life of food
by clare crespo


Claire Crespo, author of The Secret Life of Food
Adapted by StarChefs

Give the gift of beans: sweetly wrapped burritos tied with pretty, edible ribbon.

Yield: 6 servings

  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 ounces green chili peppers, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 can (15-ounces) kidney beans, drained and mashed
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 6 flour tortillas (use different-colored tortillas-spinach or tomato-if you wish)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and dip the green onions and leeks in quickly with tongs. Let them cool on a plate.

In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the tomato, onion, green chilies, garlic powder, and salt to the skillet, and cook until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add the mashed beans and cheese, mix well.

Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and heat in the oven for 10 minutes.

Remove the tortillas from the oven. Spoon a scoop of the bean mixture in the center of the tortilla and wrap. Fold the horizontal sides in toward each other, and roll the burrito up toward you.

Place the burrito on a plate or serving dish. Wrap one leek around the width of the burrito, then another around the length. Tuck the ends of the leek underneath the burrito. Tie a simple bow with the green onion or another leek at the spot where the leeks cross on the burrito.

Clare Crespo, The Secret Life of Food. Photographs by Eric Staudenmaier. A Melcher Media Book, Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 2002.