March 2023 Recipe
SPRING ROLLS WITH PEANUT SAUCE
Are you thinking spring yet?
These fresh, not fried, veggie-packed spring rolls are the perfect way to start your spring recipe rotation. Included here is a terrific, peanut dipping sauce that goes perfectly with the veggies.
If you’ve never rolled spring rolls before, I’ve also included fast easy instructions to get your started.
Recipe yields 8 spring rolls, perfect for a light meal or cut into thirds (with a really sharp knife!), they’re the perfect appetizer.
2 ounces, rice vermicelli or brown rice noodles
1 teaspoon, toasted sesame oil
¼ teaspoon, fine sea salt
1 cup, torn butter lettuce, ribs removed
1 cup, very thinly sliced red cabbage
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks or sliced into strips with a julienne peeler
2 Persian (mini) cucumbers, or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced or sliced into strips with a julienne peeler
1 medium jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced,
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup roughly chopped fresh mint
8 sheets rice paper (spring roll wrappers)
⅓ cup, creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons, rice vinegar
2 tablespoons, reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons, maple syrup or agave
1 tablespoons, toasted sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 to 3 tablespoons water, as needed
How to form the spring rolls:
Spring rolls are best rolled individually, rather than in an assembly line mode (see Note). Place one rice paper in the water and let it rest for about 20 seconds. Wait until the sheet is pliable but not super floppy. Carefully lay it flat on the towel.
Leaving about 1 inch of open rice paper around the edges, cover the lower third of the paper with a few pieces of butter lettuce, followed by a small handful of rice noodles, some cabbage, and a few strips of carrot, cucumber and jalapeño. Sprinkle generously with the herb mix.
Fold the lower edge up over the fillings, rolling upward just until the filling is compactly enclosed. Then fold over the short sides like a burrito. Lastly, roll it up. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
To make the peanut sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, rice vinegar, tamari, maple syrup or agave, sesame oil, and garlic. Whisk in 2 to 3 tablespoons water, as needed to make a creamy dipping sauce.
The spring roll wrappers tend to dry out with time or if chilled, so the rolls are best assembled shortly before serving. Cover the completed rolls with a damp kitchen towel to keep them fresh while preparing to serve them, but you can prepare and refrigerate the dip and filling in advance.