The California Burrito with Salsa Fresca
Seriously, when is it not a good time for a burrito? It’s such a classic, and hits the spot every time. Toby, Jake, and I love road trips in our 1968 VW bus (that’s our old 1070 Westfalia to the right, parked in Big Sur. We now have an olive green ’68), and while trucking up and down our beautiful state, we have discovered time and time again that Californians really know how to make a killer veggie burrito. In Ojai, they steam zucchini and carrots, then roll ‘em up with brown rice, avocado, and salsa. In Big Sur, they throw in grilled red peppers, yellow squash, queso blanco (a mexican creamy soft white cheese), pinto beans, white rice, avocado, and salsa. In Santa Cruz, the tortillas are toasted to a golden brown, the rice is dotted with fresh cilantro, tangy salsa, pinto beans, and a herby salad. To express my feelings of love for all of these burritos, may I quote Meg Ryan’s character from the film When Harry Met Sally: “YES, YES, YES, YES, YEEESSSS!!!”
Now that we are in the full swing of the said thang, we have to adhere to a few laid back rules. Whatever you put into your burrito, it must be fresh. I’m talking springy buds of cilantro (coriander), plump, vine ripened tomatoes, avocados that are firm, but have just enough “give” when you give ‘em a squeeze. O.k. let me make it easy for you: Your produce should be Darling Buds of May (or any month for that matter). If you desire the best flavor for family and friends, second best just doesn’t get it. This of course does not mean you have to pay a king’s ransom, nor drive a million miles to an organic farm. I’m talking about putting a little love into choosing your veggies. It’s o.k. if you take a bit of time to survey your tomatoes (hoo wee, fighting an uncontrollable urge to slip in a joke), to ensure that your lettuce is crisp, and so on. We’re talking love people, and this does not go unnoticed in the taste department. Everyone will appreciate your kind offering at the dinner table, and you will bask in the joy of knowing that you are well and truly appreciated. Amen.
juice of half a lemon