These are like little salads you can eat with your hands. You can really improvise and use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Also, you can add shrimp, chicken, or tofu to these for some more protein. However, I liked them nice and light for these hot summer days. You may have to go to a larger store or an Asian market to get the rice paper wrap. The 3rd store was a charm for me–I picked some at at Pacific Green on Court Street in Cobble Hill. As a bonus, I also picked up some of their wonderfully fresh-cut watermelon for dessert.
These fresh summer rolls (as opposed to deep-fried spring rolls) are great to bring to a picnic or anywhere else. Just put a layer of damp paper towels on the bottom, seal them tightly with saran wrap, and they should be good to go a day in advance. If you want to store them in layers, put a layer of paper towels between the layers of rolls to keep them from sticking to each other.
The quantity of the ingredients list is flexible. It depends on your preference: you can make each roll with as much of each ingredient as you choose. One cucumber and one carrot will be good for about 8 rolls, which are each cut in half.
For the rolls:
- 1 package very thin rice noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cucumber, cut in half cross wise and then into thin strips
- 1 carrot, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- 4 radishes, cut into matchsticks (First cut the radish into thin slices. Then, cut each round slice into strips.)
- 20 or so whole basil leaves (fewer if your leaves are bigger)
- 20 or so whole cilantro leaves
- 20 or so whole mint leaves (fewer if your leaves are bigger)
- 1 package rice paper wrappers: they look like this
For the dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- water as needed to thin out the sauce
- optional: one clove or garlic, minced
- If you did not cook the noodles ahead of time already, get those going according to package directions.
- Prepare the dipping sauce: mix all ingredients together. Thin out with a few tablespoons or water at at time until you get your desired consistency. I added a bit more vinegar as well,so just taste and keep adjusting the amounts until you like the flavor.
- Fill a large sauté pan with warm water. Hopefully it is large enough for you to quickly dip the wrappers in without crushing them. The wrappers I got this time were HUGE (larger diameter than any of my pans) so I just dipped one half at a time. Here’s how it works: The wrapper needs to sit in warm water for a just a few seconds to become pliable so you can actually wrap with it. Then, you need to work fairly quickly but carefully so that you don’t tear the wrapper. Just do one at a time.
- After softening the wrapper, place it carefully on a work surface. Fill the middle with the goods: a small handful of noodles, a few cucumber sticks, a few radishes, a few carrots, a few of each: cilantro, basil, mint, whatever else you feel like.
- Then, get rolling. Fold the top and bottom up to close off the edges of your roll. Then, start wrapping from one side until you get the shape you want. You’ll need to be a little forceful with your vegetables to get them into roll-shape. Its ok, they can handle it.
- Cut each roll in half, and serve with dipping sauce on the side.
I was wondering what to do with all my radishes, beyond slicing and sprinkling them over greens. This recipe used up the rest of ours from our share, and the radishes and pickle relish add some great flavor to the potatoes. This is one of several recipes that I made from Food and Wine’s most recent Grilling issue (although there is no grilling involved for this recipe, I’ll be posting the grilled kale recipe soon). I like that it is a make-ahead dish, so it is absolutely no work on the day you serve it. It stays good for two days after you make it.
At this point, I have several recipes on this blog that feature the radish. You can just click on “radish” in the right column, and find other recipes that use this vegetable. Have you done anything exciting with your radishes? Let me know…I’d love to know and share more ways to use these, as I think more are arriving from the farm this week!
- 3 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, halved but not peeled
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika (I actually used smoked hot paprika because that’s what I had on hand)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 red radishes, 1/3-inch dice
- 3 celery ribs, cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 1/2 medium red onion, cut into1/3-inch dice
- In a large pot, cover the potatoes with water, add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Shake the pot over moderately high heat for about 10 seconds to dry the potatoes. Transfer the potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and let cool completely. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large bowl, blend the mayonnaise with the relish, vinegar, mustard powder, paprika, black pepper, cayenne, radishes, celery and onion. Gently fold in the potatoes and season with salt (I did not add any more salt at this point, I would wait until you serve it to decide if more salt is needed). Refrigerate the potato salad for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve cold or lightly chilled.
Yesterday morning, the farmers were so cold that they had to pass the time by having a catch (or playing catch, depending on where you’re from) with a sweet potato and tongs. I am so thankful that they come out no matter the weather. The sweet potatoes and scallions in this recipe are from that market.
Not only does this recipe highlight winter vegetables, but this was also a good way to use up some cans of beans that seemed to be multiplying in my pantry. I used a recipe from Real Simple which was made for slow cookers. Since I don’t have a slow cooker, the cooking times are changed. I also used fire-roasted tomatoes with spicy chiles, but the recipe does not call for the spicy kind.
As with most chili, this one gets better the next day or the day after that. I like to make a big batch, and then heat some up the next morning to put in my thermos. I love this one for work because it even comes with its own little folding spoon…how adorable! Keep the “fixins” in a separate container so they don’t get soggy. It makes for a much more exciting lunch than pb&j.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
- sour cream, sliced scallions, thinly sliced radishes, and tortilla chips, for serving
- In a large pot over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon oil, the onion, and the sweet pepper. Stir occasionally until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the peppers and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Stir constantly until fragrant, about one minute.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, and 1 cup water.
- Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- Serve with thinly sliced radishes, sour cream, scallions, and tortilla chips.