YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
For the dressing:
¼ cup ginger, peeled and sliced
¼ cup lemon grass, sliced
¼ cup lime juice
2 Tbsps. fish sauce
3 Tbsps. sweet chili sauce
For the filling:
2 Tbsps. sesame oil
1 lb. ground lamb
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut on diagonal into 1" pieces
1 small red bell pepper, diced
12 iceberg or butter lettuce leaves
1. For dressing: puree first 4 ingredients in blender. Let stand 15 minutes to 1 hour. Strain mixture into a small bowl. Squeeze liquid from solids and discard solids. Add sweet chili sauce.
2. For the filling: Heat 1 Tbsp. sesame oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add ground lamb seasoned with salt and pepper. Saute until cooked through. Drain off fat.
3. Remove from pan and transfer to mixing bowl. Add remaining Tbsp. oil to saute pan. Saute fresh asparagus and red pepper until tender. Add to lamb. Reserve ¼ cup dressing and add the remaining dressing to coat mixture well.
4. Arrange lettuce leaves (cups) on a platter, trimming edges on any oversized leaves. Spoon approximately 2 heaping Tbsps. lamb-asparagus mixture into lettuce cups. Serve remaining sauce alongside. Serve at room temperature.
Photo and recipe: California Asparagus Commission and California Sheep Commission