Thursday

Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls with homemade Peanut Dipping Sauce ~




I love ordering these rolls in an Asian restaurant.  I love the flavor of the dipping sauce too, it's yummy.  I knew I wanted to try and make these at home, they looked so easy to do.  But, I heard people say that working with the rice paper was tricky, or a pain to work with.  I am here to tell you that it is not.  It's almost easy.  The only little tricky part, is not to walk away leaving the rice paper in the bowl of water.  As a matter of fact, feel the rice paper with your fingers all around when you place one in the bowl.  You will feel how stiff they are.  Then in about 15 to 20 seconds, they turn pliable.  And that's when they are ready.  You just lift them up and out of the water, holding it over the bowl to let the excess water drip for a few seconds.  Then spread it out on your waiting towel and it will be good to go.  Another tip is to roll them kind of tightly, just like a burrito, rolling the sides in as you go.  You'll keep them together better and they will look neat and pretty.

Here's the recipe:


    Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls
    (adapted from Williams Sonoma 2008)
 
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar 
  • 1 Tbs.. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Planters)
  • 2  avocados
  • 20 rice paper rounds, 6 or 8 inches in diameter (I used the one with a Red Rose on front of pkg)
  • Leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and shredded (I used the large setting on a box grater) 
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled & cut into thin strips

 



In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce and sugar until the sugar dissolves; set aside.

Halve, pit and peel the avocados, and then cut them into thin slices.

Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for about 20 seconds to soften, then lay it flat on the towel. . Using another towel, pat the top of the rice paper dry.

Center a lettuce leaf on top of the stacked rice paper. Starting about one-third in from the edge closest to you, arrange a few of the basil leaves in a line across the lettuce. Top with a small row each of the carrot, cucumber and avocado; be careful not to overstuff the roll. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll the paper and filling into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients to make 10 rolls.

Cut each roll in half crosswise and arrange, cut side up, on a platter. Place the sauce alongside for dipping and serve immediately. Makes 20 rolls; serves 8 to 10.

Here's a picture I took of a hay field in NH, last week.  Fall is such a gorgeous time in New England, nothing quite like it.  Wouldn't you agree?




I've joined the lovely people at Rattlebridge Farms for Foodie Friday ~

 

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