Monday, October 20, 2008

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls

Nothing says Fall like butternut squash, pumpkin...and cilantro, right? Iv, who apparently has been won over to the granola-crunchy side of things, rode his bike to the farmer's market Saturday morning while I slept and tried to improve our net worth on, and came back with greens, eggplant, regular radish, watermelon radish, and butternut squash.

Tonight I decided to tackle the butternut squash, which is an ingredient I've eaten before, but never actually used. Terry & Isa have a recipe on page 50 for what is basically a traditional Vietnamese spring roll except with roasted squash subbing for the shrimp.

The squash goes in the oven for about 25 minutes, getting tossed a couple of times. Meanwhile, you cook rice vermicelli, then run it under cold water for a minute or two two bring it down to spring roll wrapping temperature. Chop up some pumpkin seeds and cilantro and you're all set.

Spring roll wrappers actually come in brittle dry sheets. This is Golden Boy brand. You have to soak them for a minute in hot tap water to get them pliable.

Place some rice noodles in the lower third of the wrapper once it's laid out, add butternut squash, cilantro, and some pumpkin seeds, and roll it up. The recipe says you're supposed to get 12 of these, but I got eight.

The rice paper is kind of tough to control. If it starts sticking to itself, just put it back in warm water; it will start to loosen up.

Once the filling is in, just roll it up.

The finished product, together with a super-easy dipping sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil, sesame oil, and sugar.

Iv was still under the weather tonight, so I served this alongside a chickpea stew with carrots, tahini, and lemon juice (basically hummus in soup form). It's vegan, too, but it's a recipe more or less of my own making, so it doesn't qualify for the blog. When I called him from work, he said what he really wanted for dinner was a bacon bleu cheese burger (which he'd really rather you righteous vegans didn't know about), but he sacrificed for the sake of the blogosphere.

The spring rolls were a triumph of deliciousness. There's nothing wrong with them. We should all eat them constantly. If there's a criticism, maybe they could use a little more texture, but they're just generally wonderful, so you should serve them to all your friends. Make them today!


Devin said...

Neat blog. I wish I could get more into cooking. I looked briefly through this book and concluded that I didn't have the patience (or, perhaps, the skill)...

we just like vegetables said...

Thanks, Devin. I think the Veganomicon does a nice job of straddling the line between encouraging home cooking without getting technical, so it's really an easy book to use provided you have some small measure of kitchen skill. To really get started with basic technique, it's hard to beat either of the big Bittman volumes.

MightyEdgar said...

Mmmm...Butternut squash.

Chanh said...

Use Chanh Khang Spring roll wrapper for fresh spring roll and fried spring roll.