Pesto ‘Not Chicken’ Wraps


Back in the nineties I co-owned the first ever wrap cafe in the country – Duo Wraps and Espresso on Ponsonby Road. Our wraps were a little different from your regular sandwich variety that you see everywhere today; they were all made to order and were toasted on the outside. Each wrap was a complete meal.

One of our most popular wraps was the Pesto Chicken with our signature dressing which was a secret until now. All of our wraps had the option of swapping out the meat for seasoned tofu, and as I no longer eat meat, I thought I’d make the vegetarian version and share the recipe with you. This is one of the tastiest wraps ever, the mushrooms, feta and dressing combine so well. Even the most dedicated meat eater will love this delicious, much kinder version.

Pesto ‘Not Chicken’ Wraps

To make and assemble the wraps you’ll need …

One pack of large spinach wraps, perfect crispy fried tofu (see recipe below), a block of feta, one large avocado, about 2 cups each of spinach and kale stalks removed, 1 cup button mushrooms, jasmine rice, 1/2 can drained chick peas (reserve the liquid to make aquafaba) and the ‘secret’ ingredient, Duo Dressing (see recipe below)

Chop the spinach and kale into strips, slice the mushrooms and avocado. Cook the jasmine rice as per the packet, you’ll need a couple of cups of cooked rice

Duo Dressing 

1/2 Cup pesto

1/3 Cup cashew pieces

1/3 Cup olive oil

1 Tbl dijon mustard

1 Clove roasted garlic

1/3 Cup white vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients except the white vinegar into a food processor and combine, pour in the white vinegar a little at a time and mix well, taste it and add the salt and pepper and a little filtered water if it’s too thick.

Perfect Crispy Fried Tofu

First of all you need to get a firm tofu from the supermarket or local Asian market, this is vital if you want crispy cooked tofu that does not go soft and mushy. Take the tofu and place it on two paper towels then place it on a board or plate, put another two paper towels on top and then another  board or plate on the top, next put something very heavy on top of this, I always use my mortar and pestle. Leave the tofu for at least half an hour while the water drains out.

When you are happy this has happened (I leave mine for an hour) slice into 70mm wide slices and slice through the other way making each piece 70mm by 200mm. Place around 1/2 cup cornflower into a bowl, add the tofu slices and toss gently until covered. Quickly heat some coconut oil in a large frying pan and cook the tofu on medium heat until golden brown with a little Moroccan seasoning, heat through then take out and drain on a paper towel.

Add the mushrooms to the pan the tofu was in and saute with more coconut oil, once done add the chickpeas and rice, heat gently stirring to combine, add the kale and spinach right at the end, toss through and remove from the heat.

Assemble your wraps; lie each tortilla out flat, crumble about 1.5 Tbl of feta in a line along each one keeping clear of the sides, then add the rice mixture, about 5-6 Tbl along the same line as the feta, place the avocado down one side. Add a line of Duo Dressing along the other side, don’t be stingy but don’t put to much either, see the picture below.

Then carefully roll up each wrap tucking the edges in, to seal the tortillas you can put a tiny bit of water along the edge to help them stick, place each one sealed side down in a clean dry frying pan, toast until lightly brown then flip and do the same to the other side. Cut them through on an angle and serve with one lying down and one up.



Comments 6

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  1. Oh boy! This takes me back to my lunch times of ‘sitting out the back’ of Duo awaiting my tasty wrap while enjoying the coffee and entertainment from Robert next door as he told me tales from the night before in Dorothy’s. This wrap recipe is the BEST…..thank you so much for sharing. Can’t wait to whiz up a batch and take another trip down Memory lane. XXX

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  2. Wow! I’m so glad to find this! Thank you! I Used to work here part time and I remember the place very, very fondly. When the new owners took over, the Duo was never the same. Almost every wrap and smoothie tasted amazing and the coffee was awesome too. Triona do you have any of the other wrap recipes please? Specifically the Salsa that was used in the breakfast wrap? That legend Jim used make me one on my morning shifts and it was almost my favourite.

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      Hi Simon 🙂 Lovely to hear from you. I do have some of the other recipes – a lot are still in my head! Sign up to our newsletter and I’ll be posting more recipes from Duo in the next month or so. The salsa can be recreated by cooking 2 Tbsp diced onion & 1/4 Tbsp crushed garlic, add 1/2 cup of good quality pasta sauce and then a couple of Tbsp basil pesto, mix around to combine the flavours, then spread over your wrap (also needs to be good quality) add grated cheese, roll up and grill. Here’s the link for our newsletter . Jim was a legend!

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