Vegetable Rolls

I bought the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook more than a decade ago. It was our primary cookbook for a number of years, then it slowly fell out of favor when I stopped eating gluten and dairy. Recently, however, I was thumbing through my cookbooks, looking for inspiration.

I seem to have fallen into a vegan, gluten-free way of eating over the past year. If you’ve tried eating vegan and gluten-free and were raised eating pasteurized processed cheese food and bacon sandwiches on white bread with butter and mayonnaise as I was, you know it requires a lot of inspiration.

What I discovered in my aimless thumbing was the “vegan list” in the back of the cookbook. I spent a morning looking up each recipe, checking it for gluten and for likely acceptance by my family, and making a nice, long list of new recipes to try.

One of these was very simply named “Vegetable Rolls.”

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I’ve tried making spring rolls before using raw vegetable fillings, and they were kind of ho-hum. These Vegetable Rolls are not ho-hum. The vegetables are lightly sauteed, dressed in a basic sauce, and mixed with fresh tarragon and basil before they’re rolled in the rice papers. The result is a tasty, fresh, satisfying meal that’s well worth the time it takes to prepare.

My husband loved these, I loved these, my 7.5-year-old daughter opened hers up and ate the filling, and my 3.5-year-old refused to even taste them. That’s about the best we’re able to do these days. I’ll take it. I made them again later on in the week to use the rest of the mushrooms we’d bought.

The recipe includes a hoisin dipping sauce, but I couldn’t find any gluten-free, sugar-free hoisin sauce, so I made up my own little sauce out of tamari, water, rice vinegar, garlic, hot pepper sesame oil, and a little ginger. I can’t tell you the ratios because I really didn’t pay close attention, but if you play around with those, you should be able to come up with a yummy sauce. If you make your own sauce, you also might want to add a little sweetener (agave, sugar, honey).

Vegetable Rolls

Reprinted with permission from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2001.

Serves 4 to 6; Total time: 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients:

1 1/2 to 2 ounces bean thread noodles

1 T peanut or other vegetable oil (I used sesame)

2 c grated green cabbage

2 c sliced mushrooms

4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed

1 T grated fresh ginger root

1 c peeled and grated carrots

1 c thinly sliced red bell peppers

1/2 c finely chopped scallions

2 T soy sauce (I used wheat-free tamari)

1 T rice vinegar

1 T chopped fresh tarragon

2 T chopped fresh basil

12 rice paper discs (8 inches across)

1/4 c chopped peanuts (I didn’t use these)

Directions:

Soak the bean threads in warm water until softened, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the cabbage for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and ginger and continue to saute on medium heat for another 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft. Add the carrots and bell peppers and cook for about 5 minutes more, until hot but still slightly crunchy. Remove from the heat.

When the bean threads are soft, drain them and cut into 3- to 4-inch lengths with scissors or a knife. Add them to the sauteed vegetables with the scallions, soy sauce, vinegar, tarragon, and basil. Stir to combine and set aside.

Moisten the rice-paper discs a few at a time at a time by immersing each one in a large shallow bowl (I used a pie plate) of warm water, transferring it to a clean towel, and laying it flat (I just laid them one at a time on a clean cutting board. It was pretty wet, but I just didn’t let them get completely soft before taking them out of the bath). Let them soften for a few minutes. Soften more as needed and as space permits.

Place about 1/3 cup of filling on the bottom half of a softened disc, fold over the sides, nd then roll up from the bottom, as tightly and gently as possible. Place seam side down on a platter and repeat with the rest of the filling and discs.

Serve with Hoisin Dipping Sauce (see below—or your own improvisational dipping sauce) and a sprinkling of peanuts.

Hoisin Dipping Sauce

(which I did not make)

1/4 c hoisin sauce

1 T water

2 T rice vinegar or lemon juice

1 t dark sesame oil

1/2 t Chinese chili paste (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients.

One comment

  1. Kylie · January 31, 2013

    Looks like a yummy variation! I pinned this to try some time.

    Like

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