Saturday, July 13, 2013

summer rolls

I have always preferred the crispy spring roll to the rice papered summer roll. But somehow this summer I have found myself unable to satisfy my craving for these soft purses of raw vegetables. I didn't want to use rice noodles because sometimes I don't like the texture they create. So I thought I'd use iceberg lettuce, which I had on hand. It might sound strange, but the lettuce worked as a great substitute. Traditionally, Thai basil is used but I prefer sweet basil, for taste and texture.

for the rolls-
4 rice paper rolls
2 small carrots, grated
3 green onions, chopped small
1/2 avocado, sliced thin
about 1/2 cup pepper (I used yellow) sliced into thin strips
about 1 cup of chopped ice burg lettuce
6-8 leaves of basil (I like a lot of basil)

Dip the rice paper in warm water and swim it around until it feels like the texture you need - you'll know it when you feel it. Lay it on a board and layer on the vegetables.  Roll up and cover with saran if you're not eating right away. I served these as an appetizer before a dinner of jasmine rice, tofu and broccoli.
What makes these rolls really delicious is the dipping sauce. You can control the spice level by using less or more of the sriracha.

For the easy dipping sauce-
1/3 cup smooth natural and unsalted peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil, not toasted
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tsp sriracha
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp lime juice
4 TB water

Mix everything together and refrigerate until you're ready to use.

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