Spring Rolls are Easier Than Ever!
I've made a lot of spring rolls in the past year, ever since I learned the secrets of the spring roll universe from Mark Reinfeld in his fantastic Vegan Fusion 10 Day Immersion. Since then I've been fine-tuning and streamlining the process to suit my simplistic sensibilities, and to make it easier to demystify the technique for others. The way I make them now is so easy I really think anyone can do it. And you should! Spring rolls are a fun way to eat lots of fresh veggies. They're great for parties too because they look so fancy and are the perfect finger food. Some people call them Summer Rolls, and that seems like the perfect name for them now, since summer just happens to be in full bloom. I made these the other night for friends, as a pre-birthday celebration for myself! They're a slightly different twist on the average Spring Roll, and we all really, really liked them.
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rice paper wrappers
lettuce and arugula, thinly sliced and mixed
carrots, cut into match sticks or grated
celery, thinly sliced
cranberry sauce, canned or cooked from fresh
Make the Smoky Baked Tofu early in the day, or better yet, the day before. Cut it into 1/2 inch sticks.
Prep all your ingredients and set them out in the order you'll be using them, along with two cutting boards to work on, and a shallow dish of very hot water for dipping the wrappers in.
Soak one rice paper wrapper in the hot water for about 20-30 seconds, until it's soft but not soggy. There should still be a little bit of a crinkle to it when you remove it from the water, and it will be stretchy and elastic.
Lay the wrapper on a cutting board and quickly fill it with a little bit of each ingredient. Go easy. Over-filling makes for difficult rolling! Start with a strip of lettuce running most of the length of the wrapper. Add the other fillings in the order given, ending with two sticks of tofu, running sideways so you can easily roll around them.
This might be more filling than you want to start with... ;o)
Now lift the side of the wrapper closest to you, and gently wrap it over the sideways fillings (not all the lettuce). Pull the fillings toward you, tucking them in as tightly as you can. Fold the ends in toward the center, and continue rolling until you reach the end. The bare piece of wrapper will stick itself to the roll, sealing it all up.
Set the finished roll on the other cutting board, and repeat the process to make as many rolls as you want. When you're finished, cut the rolls in half at a slight diagonal and arrange on a platter with some Chipotle Cranberry Dipping Sauce. Instant party!
Chipotle Cranberry Dipping Sauce
Mix equal parts cranberry and mayo in a small bowl. Season with chipotle to taste.
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