summer salad rolls

November 27, 2010

I know. I know. It may seem odd. November is not summer so the posting of summer rolls is hardly seasonal. But we went to dinner at our friends’ Quinn and Cory’s house and they put together a stellar vegan meal. Job well done (thank you!). For appetizers they served these fantabulous summer rolls with peanut sauce which we made for dinner last night to try them out and, well, just because they were so yummy. It’s kind of a fun “structural” exercise that the kids like – and they’re healthy and they’re tasty. So summer, winter, fall, spring. Who cares? They are just damn good.

Summer Rolls

one 1.8- to 2-ounce package bean-thread (cellophane) noodles

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 large Boston lettuce leaves, washed well and spun dry

eight 8-inch rounds rice paper plus additional in case some tear

2 tablespoons roasted peanuts, crushed

1 scallion, cut into 2-inch julienne strips

1/4 cup finely shredded carrot

1/3 cup thinly sliced cabbage

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (preferably Thai basil), washed well and spun dry

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, washed well and spun dry

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, washed well and spun dry

In a bowl soak noodles in very hot water to cover 15 minutes and drain well in a colander. Reserve half of noodles for another use. With scissors cut remaining noodles into 3- to 4-inch lengths and in a small bowl toss with vinegar and salt to taste.

Cut out and discard ribs from lettuce leaves, halving each leaf.

In a shallow baking pan or cake pan soak 2 rounds rice paper in hot water to cover until very pliable, 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Carefully spread 1 soaked round on a paper towel, leaving remaining round in water, and blot with paper towels. Arrange 1 piece of lettuce leaf on bottom half of sheet, leaving a 1-inch border along edge. Top lettuce with about one fourth of peanuts and about one fourth of noodles, arranging them in a line across lettuce. Top noodles with one fourth each of scallion, carrot, cabbage, and herbs. Roll up filling tightly in rice paper, folding insides after first roll to completely enclose filling, and continue rolling.

Spread remaining soaked rice paper round on tea towel and blot with another tea towel. Wrap rice paper around spring roll in same manner. (Double wrapping covers any tears and makes roll more stable and easier to eat.) Wrap spring roll in rinsed and squeezed paper towel and put in a resealable plastic bag. Make 3 more rolls with remaining ingredients in same manner. Rolls may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped in wet paper towels in sealed plastic bag. Before serving, bring rolls to room temperature.

Halve rolls diagonally and serve with peanut sauce.

Spicy Peanut Sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon tomato paste

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2/3 cup water

In a small saucepan cook garlic and red pepper flakes in oil over moderate heat, stirring, until garlic is golden. Whisk in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, whisking. Simmer sauce, whisking, until thickened, about 1 minute. Sauce may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Serve sauce warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from epicurious

2 Responses to “summer salad rolls”

  1. Heidi Struck Says:

    My brother and sister-in-law (Cory and Quinn) are fabulous cooks! They inspired me to find more enjoyment in the kitchen!!! The funny thing about this post is that I have a monthly dinner with a good fried in Winnipeg and I made rolls similar to this for a “thai inspired evening”.
    Quinn turned me onto your blog and I just made the coconut lentil soup. Yum, yum! We also enjoyed one of your stuffed mushroom recipes at Christmas. Fantastic.
    Looking forward to trying more of your recipes Ruth. Keep up the great work!

    • Heidi,
      It’s great that Quinn and Cory got you on to the blog! And even better that you have already found it helpful.The coconut lentil soup is one of my favourites so you picked a good one to start with. Experiment away and let me know what you think. And enjoy!

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