Whole Food Homestead

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SPRING Rolls

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It’s spring! The first edibles are popping up all around us – asparagus, mint, chives, sprouts and greens of all kinds to name a few. Last week it dawned on me for the first time that the name “spring rolls” might have something to do with the first offerings of spring. Sure enough, a cursory search revealed that spring rolls most likely originated as a seasonal food in China, where spring vegetables were wrapped in a pancake and enjoyed as a welcome change from winter preserves. The revelation that my first gleanings from the garden would go great with rice wrappers and dipping sauces became pure genius when I came across a simple idea for serving spring rolls family style. The save-the-cook solution to an otherwise tedious food is this: simply place a couple pans of hot water on the table so that everyone can soak their own wrappers and assemble their rolls right on the spot! The wrappers need only be dipped enough to wet them – by the time you lay them out on your plate and fill them, they are perfectly tender without falling apart. The only prep otherwise is to assemble a platter of whatever raw veggies you have, plus some chopped peanuts, bean threads or rice noodles, a meat of choice if desired, and dipping sauces. The platter pictured above includes pea and sunflower shoots, which we grow indoors year-round; asparagus, mint, and chives, which are perennials in our garden, coming back every year on their own; and shredded carrots, which store well throughout the winter. The noodles are prepared by soaking in hot water for 10 minutes, which means the only real cooking is to prep your meat of choice. We have been using ground pork and simply season it with some soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Chicken or shrimp would also be lovely – whatever sounds good to you!

I hope you give this idea a try! It’s amazing how spring rolls totally up the enjoyment of raw vegetables. Even if you don’t have your own garden, get out to a farmer’s market and see what’s available. This is a great idea for having guests to dinner or getting your kids a little more into eating their veggies. Enjoy!

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SPRING Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
SPRING Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4-6 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
peanut dipping sauce
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. At any time (in advance if you'd like), do any necessary washing and chopping and arrange all your fillings on a large platter. Feel free to be creative and add whatever veggies sound good to you.
  2. Put vermicelli or bean threads in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let sit for 8-10 minutes, then drain thoroughly. (Test for doneness - bean threads take less time.)
  3. Meanwhile, fry your chosen meat in cooking oil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and add the soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.
  4. To prepare peanut sauce, simply mix the peanut butter, sesame oil, soy sauce and brown sugar well. If mixture is too thick, add more oil. Different peanut butters behave differently.
  5. To serve, set out the platter of fillings, meat, noodles, wrappers and dipping sauces. Also put out a couple pans of hot water for people to soak their own spring roll wrappers. Soak wrappers just long enough to wet them thoroughly. Carefully remove and put wrapper on your plate and fill with desired items. By the time you have wrapped up your spring roll, the wrapper will be perfectly tender and ready to eat!
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2 Comments

  1. Therese DesMarais

    May 28, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    What a wonderful website Melissa. Nice ideas to start out fresh spring eats. I was perusing some friend’s FB pages and Debbie’s referred to this. Bravo!

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