99.9% of the cells in my body were born of pasta and marinara sauce.  I mean, there’s probably a cheeseburger thrown in there somewhere.  A hint of Chinese take-out.

But that’s really and truly as ethnic as it gets.

How.  Banal.


I didn’t realize the gravity of this situation, however, until I left for college.

And was quickly informed by my Phillie-born but Arizonian-bred best friend that (a) not only had I never had good Mexican food (never mind the fact that I had never had Mexican food at all.  Ever.) but that (b) I would never find it this side of the Mason-Dixon Line.

If I ever wanted to experience it, she said, I was going to have to go south.  (More specifically, southwest.) Or at least to places where there was enough of a Mexican contingency to make the food authentic and delicious.

(One would think that that would not be so difficult in NYC.  But it is.  Oh. It. Is.)

So we went.  One spring break during college, we trekked down to Phoenix and road tripped our way to San Diego and LA and Santa Barbara. While I’m sure we went under the guise of much greater and grander plans.  The real reason was so that she could prove she was right about the Mexican food once and for all.

Of course. She was.


How I felt when scooping up my first chip-full of salsa was kind of how I felt when tasting these flour tortillas from Tortilla Land.  I mean, I could see the resemblance to the flour tortillas that you can buy in the supermarket.  But not really.

These tortillas had flavor.  So tasty that I may or may not have eaten one (or three).  On their own.  Without any filling.

I have never in my life felt compelled to do that with any other tortilla.  Ever.

Which may be a good or a bad thing depending on you look at it.  Considering that I now have 144 sitting in my apartment.  Or, now, 142.  (Maybe.  Or maybe not.  Depending on the veracity of the previous statement.)


So then yesterday when I found myself knee deep in them, I did what any normal Northeastern Mexican food-deprived girl would do.  And filled them with a completely inauthentic yet still shockingly delicious filling.  And called it a day.  A very. Happy.  Day.

I have recently become a bit obsessed with parsnips due to a particularly delicious pasta dish I had at Garden At the Cellar when I was in Boston for the marathon.  So last Friday when I saw them at the farmer’s market, I truly had no choice but to pick up eight of them.  (I live in shades of excess, in case you couldn’t tell.  Plus, they were cheap, local and organic.  Score.)  And then, of course, there were ramps which are such a rare find that they absolutely had to be bought as well.  At any cost.

Throw that in with my love of smoked paprika and some white beans and asparagus that I happened to have lurking in my fridge.  And you’ve got yourself a burrito filling.  A completely non-traditional burrito filling stuffed into a perfectly delicious probably more traditional tortilla.  In short, a perfectly sane way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo when you are an Italian girl who didn’t taste her first Mexican food until she was old enough to be legally wed.  Or, even if your cells are made up of more worldly things.  It’s probably still pretty damn good.

On an unrelated note, the Blogger Bake for Hope!  If you’ve ever wanted to have me bake a whole batch of my very best and most addictive brownies just for you and send them straight to your door, then this is your chance! It’s a virtual bake sale in which all of the proceeds are going to breast cancer research and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Please please please go over and check it out!  And bid on my brownies!  Or some of the myriad other treats being offered!

Picnik collage

Parsnip, Red Bell Pepper, and Ramp Burritos
Serves 2, an Eats Well With Others Original

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium-large parsnip, peeled and diced
4-5 ramps, white parts only (can substitute scallions or green onions)
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup white beans (or any bean that you have on hand!)
1/2 cup asparagus, sliced on a diagonal
1/4-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
Salt, to taste
2 flour burrito-sized tortillas

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add in the parsnips, ramps, and bell pepper with a pinch of salt.  (This helps to caramelize the veggies.)  Saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the white beans, asparagus, smoked paprika, and chili powder.  Stir mixture until all veggies are coated, then cover the pan and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the parsnips are fork-tender.  Add salt to taste.

2. When the filling is done, heat a medium-sized non-stick skillet over medium heat and heat the tortillas, one at a time, for 30 seconds on each side.  Remove to a plate.  Place half the filling in the center of each burrito so that it forms a nice compact rectangle in the center.  Fold one edge over the filling.  Tuck in the left and right sides and then continue to roll the burrito towards the unfolded edge until it’s sealed.

DISCLAIMER – Although I received this product for free, I did not receive any monetary compensation for doing this review. My thoughts and feelings on it are entirely my own.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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78 Responses to Parsnip, Red Bell Pepper and Ramp Burritos…and Blogger Bake for Hope!

  1. I am saying come on over and we can eat our “mexican” dishes together because this looks to good to pass up. Your DNA may be pasta and marinara sauce but mine is cookies and casseroles. I don’t think there was a day that went by growing up that I didn’t have some type of southern casserole! LOL!

  2. I think 99% of my body is composed of burritos, fajitas, tacos…

    I have yet to try a parsnip. It looks great though! It’s a flavorful potato, right? I’ll have to try it. I’ll check out those tortillas too. LOVE tortillas!

  3. I must say I’m intrigued by these tortillas! I don’t usually like flour tortillas much but these sound pretty amazing. This dish looks delicious!

  4. Big Dude says:

    Very interesting and you’re a brave girl to eat ramps. Maybe you have to eat the leaves for this, but last time I had them (probably 35 years ago – I learned), this terrible small eminated from every pore in my body, plus some other places, for several days. They were very good fried up in some bacon grease but not worth the pain. In the little towns that still hold ramp festivals it’s important that everyone eat them – you definately do not want to be the one person who doesn’t or you’ll have to stay in your home for a week.

  5. Shannon says:

    that a whole lotta tortillas!! love this filling, as nontraditional as it may be. also love parsnips, have you tried the nut butter crusted parsnip fries?? i can eat those for dinner and be a happy camper 🙂

  6. I didn’t know what ramps were – your blog is educational, or my food knowledge significantly lacking:)
    I won’t be surprised if the Mexicans try to steal your recipe. Throw in some pieces of meat and it could well become their new national dish!

  7. Joanne, this is an intereting burritor recipe – the parsnip must really give it a good crunch!

  8. This looks delicious! I love your story telling qualities too. 🙂 Each of your posts is so enjoyable to read!

  9. MeghanM says:

    LOVE this point. I was born in Phoenix, and it’s so true that great Mexican food is hard to find in most of the states…I remember my baby brother sucking salsa out of a straw at La Pinata when I was a kid in AZ. Guess some food does get in your genes?

  10. Dawn says:

    I have to look for ramps! This looks like it would be right up my alley.

  11. OMG, that looks so delicious! I’m sure they taste even better than “real” mexican burritos!

    Camila F.

  12. marla says:

    You never cease to amaze me with your creativity! I lived on those Tortilla Land tortilla’s last summer. Need to get some more – so I can get all creative like you 🙂 Not sure if I have ever had ramps…. xo

  13. Victoria says:

    Where did you find those tortillas? (just curious) Regardless of its authenticity, I’m sure I would LOVE these burritos. Those veggies looks so amazing and satisfying.

  14. Swathi says:

    Tortilla flour is nice idea. I like the filling with lot vegetables.

  15. Mo Diva says:

    My friend would go ape shit over this with the addition of ramps alone.
    Looks wonderful!
    I adore mexican food- such comfort! especially homemade mexican food!

  16. While a great review, i just can not get over your photos… have you ever done a photo “how To” post???

  17. I think my body DNA is made up of Kringle and roast beef! I don’t think I had southwestern food until I moved away from home but I love it now and this version has all the flavor but none of the fat. Perfect.

  18. Kristen says:

    In the long run, I am not sure that it matters what you put inside your tortillas….as long as the tortillas are good. Mexican, Newyorxican, it’s all good….especially those parsnips!

  19. Those look SOOO good. I don’t care if it’s non-authentic… Anyone that puts asparagus in a burrito is okay by me! For some reason, the two vegetables I have no problem getting my vegetable-resistant boyfriend to eat are bell peppers and parsnips. This recipe could work to my advantage…

  20. Candace says:

    I am fully convinced that you can throw absolutely anything inside of a tortilla and it works….it truly works! You just reinforce that with your post. Love this so much. Your photos are absolutely amazing. I have eaten Mexican food or what passes as Mexican food all over. While this is not like anything I would get at Sadie’s in ABQ or Ninfa’s in Houston, it looks delicious and count me in, Joanne.

  21. Shannon says:

    I utter the statement, “I love burritos” daily. Everything about them. These tortillas look fabulous! So authentic (and by that I mean, what I assume “authentic” is). I also love non-traditional and vegetable filled burritos, I wouldn’t have them any other way.

  22. That Girl says:

    I can still remember the awe I felt when I first moved to California and had my first real Mexican foods.

  23. megi says:

    Delicious, the filling looks so colourful and flavourful!

  24. Amy says:

    Finding good, authentic Mexican cuisine while living in Minneapolis was near impossible. So was quality Chinese. Or even Italian, now that I think about it. Odd, considering that city does have amazing restaurants. Anyway…Hello California – no shortage of great Mexican food here. My local market carries the best fresh tortillas from some local family. They have flavor AND they don’t crack! The first time I ate them, I was like “Oh, this is what a real tortilla is supposed to be like.”

  25. This recipe looks great and makes me want to try parsnips and ramps for the first time!

  26. Please don’t tell anyone but Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in a box got me through college!!

    I’ve read your parsnip post now you must promise to read my turnip post–when I post it! Actually I like parsnips–a lot. We never had them growing up and I always passed them by thinking they looked like anemic carrots.


  27. Megan says:

    That filling sounds incredibly interesting, and I love that it was inspired by GATC!

  28. Faith says:

    LOVE the use of parsnips here…and I just picked up a bunch actually! I was planning to make stew (it’s been cooooold here!) but I much prefer these burritos. 😉

  29. Kimberley says:

    Yum! I do not understand the dearth of Mexican food in NYC. But! I can totally get behind nontraditional fillings stuffed into a burrito, especially when they’re healthier.

  30. janet says:

    That’s a heck of a lot of tortillas!! 🙂

    I agree that the TexMex food I had was better in Texas… but now to bring it back to my own kitchen! 🙂

    Love your non-traditional burrito filling. 🙂

  31. Umm yum, this looks so delicious! Mexican food is yummy 🙂

  32. I love using a mix of vegetables in burritos! I’m betting the smoked paprika and chipotle were fantastic here. Now, if only I could get some local ramps!

  33. Lora says:

    Definitely the most creatively delicious burrito I’ve ever seen.

  34. now I was to go west just to eat “real” mexican food… is that justifiable? (file under: things not in the budget).

    this burrito looks so good. I’m very intrigued by ramps… I’ve had them at motorino and otto, and they were so good! david chang just tweeted that their out of season this coming weekend though – dang! (and such a short season.)

  35. This looks AMAZING, Joanne. As I’ve said before with some of your dishes, authentic schmauthentic. As long as the word ‘delicious’ is one of the descriptors, I’m sold.

  36. pajamachef says:

    mmm REAL mexican food is the best. but i also like nontraditional. 🙂

  37. Pam says:

    They are good tortillas aren’t they? Love this burrito – the filling has me very intrigued!

  38. Joanne, your burrito look mighty appetizing, and I am not even a burrito person. Seeing your make me tempted.

  39. Corina says:

    What an intriquing filling – I’ve never even heard of ramps! As far as I’m concerned there’s nothing wrong with mixing unconventional ingredients.

  40. La Liz says:

    I just love the ramps and root veggie blend here. Fantastic. These tortillas look beautiful and fresh — I’ll look for Tortilla Land the next time. … yum!

  41. Actually, I bought these brand of tortilla (from Costco I guess) the first time few weeks ago and I still have them in my freezer as there are so many in one packet and they come with I guess 2 packs in one or something similar. This filling is a great idea !!!

  42. nico. says:

    this hodgepodge of “completely inauthentic yet still shockingly delicious” ingredients looks so fantastic; love it.

  43. Raina says:

    I have always wanted to try Mexican food from the Southwest because I have heard its praises. Your tortillas even look better than the usual grocery store ones, and your burritos…wow…yum!

  44. Martha (MM) says:

    I always want to leave the exact same comment here and tell you how amazing I think you are! These look seriously delicious. Even though I just finished dinner I want one right now! You rock Joanne 🙂

  45. Fantastic, Joanne! I’d never think to put parsnips in there. And then add all that smokin’ heat, I love it!

  46. Those are some awesome looking burritos. Thanks for telling that brand..If you could eat these all on own, these would be sure tasty.Else the brand I buy is not that great tasting . My husbster can have Chipotle burritos all 7 days of the week! I hope to recreate your recipe for him to break his monotony :)Looks yum!

  47. I have made a lot of burritos in my day, but parsnips and chipotle I have never considered! Quite brilliant!

    And as a Texan living in NYC for the past 12 years, I must sadly agree that finding suitable Mexican food up here is quite a challenge. The best I’ve found so far is Mama Mexico on the Upper West Side and a great little spot called Mexico Lindo in the east 20s.

  48. OohLookBel says:

    Those tortillas look incredible with their colourul fillings! I’ve never had ‘proper’ Mexican food before although I’ve been to Tijuana where I ate some chips. Does that count?

  49. Catherine says:

    Looks delish and healthy and simple the three things that make a dish wonderful. Blessings, Catherine

  50. Reeni says:

    I would never think to use parsnips for a burrito but I love it! The food is the thing I miss the most about Tucson. I fell in love with Mexican flavors there. I see lots of tortilla recipes in your (and our) future! But I’m not complaining.

  51. kankana says:

    I just wanna grab and bite onto it .. soo delicious looking 🙂

  52. I haven’t tried both parsnip and ramp…unbelievable! I love how your food always have all kinds of pretty colors! 😀

  53. these look delicious! I am drooling!

  54. This looks delicious and the pastry is so thin. Very well done.

  55. Deborah says:

    I grew up in New Mexico, so I definitely know good Mexican food! And I love different and unique burrito fillings – these definitely fall into that category!

  56. The burritos look amazing! You should totally make a mexican lasagne with your leftover tortillas 🙂

  57. Who cares what’s authentic? And why does it matter anyway? Those burritos look fabulous! 🙂

  58. Miriam says:

    That burrito actually made me drool…
    Yea, I’m from Texas and I’ve worked in several restaurants filled with Mexican cooks who were my good friends. Lucky me! I learned the ways of Mexican cuisine too and OH! There’s nothing better :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  59. I adore parsnips too!! I have a whole bag in my fridge waiting for me to do something scrumptious with them. Those tortillas do look divine, Joanne. I remember having my first authentic ones when I was in California. Swoon!!!

  60. CH says:

    Crazy, I just ate a burrito for dinner! It was petty authentic, from my favorite Mexican restaurant in this city, called Taqueria. It was giant. And yummy.

    I have to admit, I tend to be a bit traditional when it comes to my Mexican food fillings, but this does sound like quite the interesting combination!

  61. Love discovering new cuisines and new flavours! Love the addition of parsnips here, adds a nice sweet flavour!

  62. Interesting recipe! It’s stuffing looks a fun one to eat. It’s spicy and chili flavor would totally give a good kick.

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  63. daphne says:

    I love the colours!! and if it is spicy! I WANT!

  64. Jo , first of all babe, CONGRATULATIONS , ur now officially on the way to stardom (never mind that i saw it coming all along), ur truly a rock star.
    Am reading u prev post and will read so a few more times , to share in ur joy and do a happy feet dance for ya!
    Marcus’s blog is going to be so honored and happy to have u too, and soon u’ll be on the way to lods of more opportunities, the possibilities of which are endless.
    And all thru it , remember , i’ll be right there , cheering for u , saying yay yay yay, thats my friend, one of the first pals i met online!
    And ofcourse looking forward to ur PB jelly bars , u MUST link them ok 🙂

  65. Ofcourse this is good , i m loving all ur eats well with others originals Jo , are they all going to make it to ur first cook book!
    But ur cookbook has to evolve around all ur stories:-)
    So wonderful reads that lead up to wonderful moments of deliciousness!
    Ha ha , love what ur made of:-)
    And am in love with pasta right now , goes into all my soups , like todays seafood veg soup with lemon grass and peas 🙂
    i know , but hearty and summery and good after a late noon workout!

  66. Johanna GGG says:

    and here I was gearing up for an authentic mexican recipe – but if you are going to go inauthentic at least you can be a little innovative rather than hackneyed 🙂

  67. These tortillas are intriguing! I hope they bring them to Canada.
    And what a great filling, very original!

  68. Vivienne says:

    haha ive never had mexican food until i was old enough to drive too. i had to fly all the way to the US for it as well…hmm ill never forget my first taco bell experience haha even tho it wasnt that great. your burritos look soo good…the first photo is making me very hungry…even after dinner.

  69. Elizabeth says:

    This looks seriously good. Remind me to come back here more often! (Returned here after reading your delightful article on strawberry salad on the marcus samuelsson site)

  70. bellini says:

    So good for us too Joanne!!!!

  71. Kim says:

    Funny that you can’t get good Mexican food in NYC. I would think you could eat just about anything in that city.

    The filling for your burritos looks bright and fresh. Love those tortillas too. Wonder if I could find them around here?

  72. Chris says:

    Fantastic photos, Joanne! I like these burritos, enough so that I might not even notice they don’t have steak or chicken in them:) Seriously great job!

  73. I love parsnips already and have been so curious to try ramps. Seems like it’s time to get me to a farmers market and now I have the perfect recipe to use them in =).

  74. I am coveting those tortillas–they look amazing. Loving the creativity on the filling too. 😉

  75. Clearly I’m catching up on all my fave blogs 🙂 I’m so behind!! All that time spent in the kitchen cooking meat, haha. You are SO right about homemade tortillas!! We went to a place called The Tortilla Factory in Scottsdale, AZ, and few years ago and they were AMAZING. I need to figure out how to make them at home!! The supermarket variety tastes like garbage now! I’m so spoiled!! Reading this recipe (which looks awesome) reminds me that I am trying mashed rutabaga for the first time this week. Mmmm, love me some root veggies 🙂

  76. Cara says:

    You know what is totally ridiculous? The fact that Massachusetts doesn’t even show up as an option in the store locator for these tortillas you so highly praise. Sigh. I will continue to live vicariously through all your delicious dishes!

  77. That burrito filling looks phenomenal! You did those tortillas proud.

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