Whenever my husband and I go out for Thai, we always begin our meal with an order of spring rolls. Over the past eight years, I have learned to love this fresh little appetizer. If you haven't had them before, a spring roll is like an herbed salad encased in a rice noodle wrap. We usually dip them in a sweet and sour peanut sauce.
I needed a project on Friday after work, so I stopped at the store, bought up the best looking fresh veggies, and went to work as soon as I got home. Miles was doubtful that I could pull them off, but he changed his tune when he took his first bite. These rolls have it all. They are pretty on the plate, tasty in your mouth, and healthy for you. Not to mention versatile. Fill them with any veggie you have in fridge, in your garden, or just happen to love.
Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls
Make these an hour or so ahead of time so they have time to chill. The cool, crisp crunch form the veggies will be even better!
1 teaspoon veggie oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon ketchup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon sugar
For the spring rolls:
1 red bell pepper
4-5 large leaves Napa cabbage
1 small bunch mint leaves
1 small bunch cilantro
1 batch peanut sauce (above)
Begin by making the sauce. Warm the oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and pepper flakes. Saute until tender and fragrant.
Decrease heat to low, and add remaining ingredients. Stir until warmed and combined. Transfer to a dish to cool. Set aside.
Begin the spring rolls. Slice all veggies (not herbs) into 3-4 inch matchsticks.
Assemble rolls. Fill a 9 X 13 inch pan with warm tap water. You will soften one wrapper at a time in the warm water.
Top with match stick veggies and herbs. You just need a few leaves of herbs in each, but spread them evenly. You want a little in each bite.
Fold left and right sides of wrapper over ends of filling, and using the parchment, begin to roll the filling into the rice paper (burrito style).
Continue rolling until you have used all your veggies. Make them as tight as you can.
Chill for one hour. Slice on the diagonal, and serve with leftover peanut sauce. I thinned my sauce with rice wine vinegar and water. I also added some honey and chopped peanuts. YUM!