(Texas Caviar Lettuce Wraps)
There was a time when it was nigh impossible to have a career in skateboarding if one lived outside of California; before game-changers like Zoo York’s E.S.T. and F.O.R.E. and Friends (still one of my absolute favorite skate videos), skateboarding on any other coast was more of a novelty—a “special issue,” if you will—that all just eventually funneled into a mass pilgrimage to California. Granted, I may be glossing over the intricacies of the industry in its infancy and I don’t mean to suggest that these two flicks are alone responsible for the phenomenon that is professional skateboarding’s diaspora, but you get what this all boils down to: a career in skateboarding was not always as geographically feasible as it is today.
Sadly, I have not seen a full edit of F.O.R.E. and Friends online, but I did find the Houston section, which blew my mind back in the day:
Seeing as how I’m from Texas (not to write off my six years in NYC), I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Texas skateboarding once in a while; with the latest Primitive tour video showcasing the best Texas has to offer, now seems as good a time as any.
To be fair, Texas has always had its share of notoriety – In no particular order, Southside Skatepark, No Comply, Cody McEntire, the Majer Crew, Johnny Romano, Craig Johnson, Jon Comer, Chris Gentry and Josh Kalis (at least briefly), to name a few, have helped put Texas on skateboarding’s memetic radar. While the recent influx of gargantuan skateparks is a relatively recent phenomenon, there was a time when the EZ-7 ditch, Southside, Skatepark of Austin, and a long-retired Skatepark of Houston were holding it down for the homies (Vans was here long enough for me to bail and get stitches in my tongue, then left before I was old enough to sign a no-pads waiver). Much like the east coast has started to migrate from the annual issue in a skate mag lineup to an equal participant in the industry, I’ve relished in watching Texas become more and more of a key player in skateboarding’s unprecedented blossoming.
In celebration of the year-round 100-degree heat and abundance of skate-friendly roadside ditches, I present a staple of any lone star chef: Texas caviar. This recipe is lightning fast, dirt cheap and exceedingly simple. If you haven’t had Texas caviar (and if you haven’t been to a wedding or comparable event in Texas, then it’s feasible you haven’t tried it), it’s essentially black beans with any number of additions and garnishes. Whether scooped with chips, rolled up in a tortilla, or—as here—wrapped in lettuce, this dish is open to all kinds of variations.
To keep the fiber and protein up to bar, this one is black bean-focused with a heaping serving of corn, red onion, radish, tomatoes and a little jalapeño for a kick. While I’ve opted to serve this in lettuce wraps for a lighter meal or snack, you may want to throw this into a tortilla or use some tortilla chips if you’re starved after a session. There’s no wrong way here, just different mediums for a sick Texas staple.
- 2 15-oz cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 15-oz can whole kernel corn (drained and rinsed)
- 10 oz. (1 dry pint) grape tomatoes (halved)
- ½ red onion (diced)
- ½ cup cilantro (diced)*
- 4-6 small radishes (diced)
- 1 jalapeño (diced)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- 12 romaine lettuce scoops (or leaves)
*Some people are genetically wired to think cilantro tastes like soap (seriously: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/24/why-does-cilantro-taste-bad-like-soap_n_7653808.html); if you’re not a fan, feel free to leave this out.
- It doesn’t get any easier than this. Rinse and drain the black beans and corn and start halving the tomatoes and dicing the red onion, cilantro, radishes and jalapeño. Mix all the ingredients (except the lettuce) in a large bowl.
- Grab a couple of lettuce scoops and throw a half a cup of the mix into each scoop. Roll them up and chow down on a tasty, healthy Texas treat.
Serving size: 1 cup caviar + 2 lettuce scoops; per serving: 190 calories, 6g fat, 27g carbs, 10g protein