09 June 2013

Spring Vegetable Spring Rolls

I have been going ga-ga over all the delicious spring vegetable dishes cropping up on my favorite food blogs.  I mean, who doesn't love fresh asparagus and peas in an easy skillet lasagna or hiding within a tender dumpling?  I love trying these sweet spring greens in every sort of recipe I can find.  All of these delicious dishes inspired me to create these Spring Vegetable Spring Rolls.  Double the spring, double the yum.

These were a huge hit during Meatless May.  Peas, avocado and hummus are all high in protein, making this a great vegetarian dinner option.  And since this is a raw recipe, it's a perfect meal for a hot late-spring day.  Once prepared, they keep beautifully in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours (they've never lasted longer than that).  I like making a double batch so that the hubs and I have leftovers to take in our lunch the following day.  There is nothing quite like these gorgeous spring rolls to cause co-worker food envy.

These rolls have a wonderfully light flavor that is perfect for spring.  Tender peas bring subtle sweetness, shredded zucchini adds a bit of crunch, and creamy avocado pulls all the flavors together.  I usually make this with a nice, garlicky hummus as we are of the school that there is no such thing as too much garlic (vampires give a wide berth to our apartment).  But if you're not a big fan of these boisterous bulbs, feel free to use a garlic-free hummus or even omit the minced garlic entirely.

Now I am the condiment queen, and believe that just about any food is better when dunked, dipped or dalloped in some sort of sauce.  But I am so crazy about the flavor of these on their own that I do not use anything to enhance their flavor, simply enjoying them plain.  The hubs adores these with his sweet and sour chili sauce, and a wasabi-soy dipping sauce would be great and add more of an Asian kick.  But whether plain or with a side sauce of some sort, I guarantee that you will love these beautiful little spring rolls.

Spring Vegetable Spring Rolls (serves 2 for dinner)

  • 1 medium zucchini 
  • 3/4 c peas
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbs cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 c hummus, store bought or homemade
  • 10-12 sheets rice paper 
Shred the zucchini with a cheese grater or a mandolin.  Squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands and blot well with paper towels.  You want about one cup of zucchini once it has been shredded and drained.  

In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, peas, garlic and cilantro.  Stir together, then season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set the bowl aside and head back to your cutting board.  Slice the avocado and sprinkle with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent browning, then transfer to prep dish or small plate.  Lay a dish towel on top of your cutting board to create your rolling surface.  Finally, get your hummus out and take the lid off so it's ready to scoop.  

Fill a pie dish with hot water.  Submerge a sheet of rice paper in the water and let sit until soft, about 25-30 seconds.  Once the paper is soft, remove and let excess water drip off before transferring to the towel-lined cutting board.  Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture onto the bottom third of the paper, leaving a one-inch margin on all sides.  Spread about a teaspoon of hummus over the vegetables with a knife or your fingers, then top with two slices of avocado.

To roll the spring roll, fold the bottom one-inch edge over the ingredients and begin rolling toward the top.  The filling will spread and start to form a cylinder.  When you've rolled about half way up the paper, fold in both sides and tuck the edges in well.  Continue rolling until you've reached the top of the paper.  Transfer the roll to a plate and cover with a damp towel or piece of plastic wrap.  Repeat with remaining ingredients until they're used up.  

Helpful Hints
  • You may use slightly more or less than 2 tbsp. of filling depending on the size of your rice paper.
  • If you have a thicker hummus (like my homemade version), you might find it easier to distribute the hummus in little globules with your fingers than spread with a knife.
  • Tight rolls can take practice.  Even if a roll isn't the prettiest in the bunch, it will still taste delicious!

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