Summer Flower Rolls
Makes 12 rolls.
Note: Rice paper wraps come in many sizes, but the most common are 9-inch rounds. They are made with rice starch, tapioca starch or a combination of the two. In general, tapioca-based wraps are thinner, more delicate and more transparent. These rolls are best served immediately, but you can cover them with a wet paper towel and wrap them for up to a day. From Robin Asbell.
• 24 nasturtiums or other edible flowers
• 1 large carrot, shredded
• 1/2 c. slivered red cabbage
• 4 oz. thin rice noodles
• 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
• 1 tbsp. sugar
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 2 green onions, chopped
• 12 (8.5-in.) rice wrappers (see Note)
• 1 large avocado, peeled and cut into slivers
• 1 bunch spearmint leaves, washed and dried
Bring a pot of water to boil. Pat the flowers dry, pluck the petals to use, if necessary. Combine the carrot and slivered red cabbage in a medium bowl.
Cook the noodles in the boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the noodles. Drain and rinse with cold water.
In a large bowl, stir the rice vinegar, sugar and salt, and add the cooked noodles and green onions; toss to mix well.
Fill a large bowl or baking pan with cool water and place next to a cutting board. Spread a smooth textured towel on a cutting board. Have a large plate ready for the finished rolls.
Dip each rice wrapper into the water and swish it just until it starts to become flexible, then place on the towel. For each roll, place a couple of slivers of avocado across the center, leaving 2 inches bare on the left and right sides. Cover the avocado with the carrot mixture, then mint leaves, then place about 1/4 cup of the rice noodle mixture on top of the pile. Carefully place the flowers in a row just above the rest of the filling, gently pressed onto the rice paper.
Fold up the bottom of the round to cover the filling, then fold in the ends. Roll up from the bottom and place on the plate with the flower side up. Place each roll on the plate, not touching the other rolls, and place a well-dampened paper towel on top of them. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap until time to serve.
Nutrition information per roll with 1 tablespoon sauce:
Calories 135 Fat 2 g Sodium 380 mg
Carbohydrates 26 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 6 g
Protein 2 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g
Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, ½ carb, .
Summer Flower Roll Sauce
Makes 1 cup.
Note: Think of this as Vegetarian Nuoc Cham, a variation on the traditional Vietnamese sauce served with rolls such as these. From Robin Asbell.
• 1/2 c. freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/4 c. sugar
• 1/4 c. apple juice or water
• 1/4 c. soy sauce
• 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Whisk together lime juice, sugar, apple juice, soy sauce and red pepper flakes until sugar is dissolved. Serve in small individual bowls for dipping.