25 April 2014

Veggie Spring Rolls with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce

Spring has sprung!  Finally!  The lake melted this week and I'm still getting used to seeing motion when I look out the window.  What better way to celebrate spring than to make some spring rolls, full of fresh veggies and a spicy peanut sauce?
I brought these to our Easter dinner as an appetizer.  It's too soon to even put plants in the ground here, but fresh peppers and cucumbers just sound so good.
Plus, they're so easy to make.  Start out by prepping the veggies - anything you want, just cut it into slices.  Because carrots are a little harder than anything else in these rolls, I recommend cutting them into small matchsticks so they are easier to eat.  Sprouts are a great filler for these spring rolls.
Next you need rice papers.  These feel like hard plastic, but after soaking in water they become pliable.  Once you start making rolls, you'll get a feel for how long you need to soak them, but the trick is to take them out of the water while they are still holding their shape, but right before they get really soft.  I soaked the rice papers in warm water, one by one, for about 45 seconds each.  Once you take them out of the water they will still get a little more pliable and sticky.
Lay the rice paper out on a plate or cutting board.  Place the veggies in a line down the middle, leaving an inch of space between veggies and the edge of the wrapper - like you're making a burrito.  The rice wrapper doesn't show very well on a white plate, but I promise it's there.
Now fold one side of the rice wrapper over the veggies.
Tuck the ends in - the rice wrapper should stick to itself easily.
Now tuck the veggies in and roll it up tightly.
Let it stand for a few minutes to set up.  Then slice in half on the diagonal and serve with the peanut dipping sauce.
Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce (based on this recipe)
Ingredients:
  • 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tbs water
  • Juice (about 2 tbs) and zest from one lime
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove, mashed into paste
  • 1/2 tsp roasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbs minced jalapeno (deseeded and deveined)
  • Optional:  2 tbs minced fresh cilantro
Instructions:
1.  Whisk all ingredients together.  Store in the fridge until needed.

So easy!
These fresh bites are a great reminder that the summer season is right around the corner.

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