Sometimes I allow myself to run with a crazy food idea. This does not happen very often. Why? Well, it is just safer that way! But today I ran with this crazy idea of creating a spring roll. I let myself color outside the lines. I let my mind create flavor combinations I thought would be a good match. I tapped into my instincts and ran like mad.
I was in want of some chopping therapy and this recipe fit that need. Sesame seeds toasted away as I thinly sliced up mushrooms, carrots, and beets. Olive oil touched the pan, danced with the sesame seeds as I sauteed the vegetables, saving the arugula for last.
My spring rolls needed a dipping sauce. I grabbed some crunchy almond butter, rice vinegar, sriracha, soy sauce, freshly grated ginger and garlic. A dash of maple syrup added a tiny hint of sweetness. I wondered what kind of a mess I had just created. I stirred together the mixture and added in some hot water to thin the sauce to a smooth dipping consistency. I tentatively tasted.
If you do anything this week, consider making these spring rolls. They are forgiving after an otherwise long workday. Anything goes – leftover roasted veggies made their way into my rolls. You may add anything you please. The trickiest part for me was softening the spring roll wrapper papers. That takes a little patience but is well worth the minimal effort. In 30 minutes you have one amazing appetizer.
Roasted Vegetable Arugula Spring Rolls with Maple, Almond Sriracha Dipping Sauce
Yield: 4 small spring rolls
3/4 Cup vegetables, thinly sliced
1/4 Cup arugula
4 small spring roll wrappers
1/4 Cup crunchy almond butter
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 – 1 teaspoon of sriracha, (adjust to your level of spice tolerance)
finely grated fresh ginger, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
finely grated fresh garlic, about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
Few Tablespoons sesame seeds
Green Onions for garnish
Make the dipping sauce: to a small bowl add the almond butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sriracha, garlic, ginger and mix until combined. Slowly add in hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until the desired dipping consistency is reached. Set this aside.
In a small pan over medium heat, toast a few tablespoons of sesame seeds in a pan until lightly golden brown. Add in some olive oil and saute the vegetables until gently warmed. Add in the arugula and let it wilt down just a little. Turn off the heat and set this aside.
Take a flat bottomed pan or bowl, large enough to accomodate the spring roll wrapper, and cover the bottom of the dish with warm water. Soak the spring roll wrapper just enough so it will still maintain the general shape. Do not worry – it will soften slightly after you remove it from the water. Remove the wrapper to a dry towel, let it dry slightly, then carefully transfer this to a clean cutting board.
Fill the wrap with a scant 1/4 cup of filling – less is ok! Set this filling in the middle of the wrapper. Starting with the bottom of the circle closest to you, roll that up over the filling. Gather in the right side and fold that over towards the center of the roll. Gather in the left side and fold that towards the center. Finish rolling the remainder of the roll, being careful to keep the middle of the roll secure. Serve with the dipping sauce.