No big surprise that I used beets here. I used them in last year's submission, too! I just can't help it. I think beets are the most romantic vegetable out there.
Don't believe me? Check out this poem by Robert Samarotto, printed on my most prized set of greeting cards.
(Cards I will probably never give away because I love them so much.)
Now that you're all hot and bothered for beets, here's my recipe. It's a spring roll inspired by the flavors of a banh mi sandwich, right down to the creamy sauce spiked with hot chiles.
Springy Beet Rolls
Makes about 4 spring rolls
4 spring roll wrappers
2 oz. thin rice noodles, prepared according to package
(usually just soaked in hot water for 6-8 minutes)
a big handful of cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced mint leaves
2 Tbsp. thinly sliced basil leaves
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 carrot, shredded
1 beet, shredded, about 1 cup
1 1/2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
(regular rice vinegar with a pinch of salt and sugar will do)
a pinch of salt
2 Tbsp. Veganaise
2 Tbsp. plain soy yogurt
2 jalapenos, minced
*Thinly sliced beets for garnish
I know these look like a lot of ingredients. Don't worry- It's easy!
First prepare your rice noodles according to the package directions. Then rinse in cold water, drain, and set aside. Prepare the green onions, herbs, and carrots and set out on the area where you will be making the spring rolls.
In a small bowl, mix together the beets with the vinegar and a pinch of salt. It will get juicy and more flavorful very quickly. Place this in your prep area.
In another small bowl, whisk together the Veganaise, yogurt, jalapenos, and salt. This will be your dipping sauce.
One by one, soak the spring roll wrappers in warm water until softened. Place a small amount of beets, carrots, noodles, green onions, and each of the herbs in a line across the middle, horizontally. Fold in the sides of the wrapper, then start rolling up from the bottom. Roll snugly, but not so tight as to break the wrapper.
*If you want the heart shaped beets inside, just use a metal heart cookie cutter to shape the thinly sliced beets. When making the spring rolls, first lay down the beet hearts, then top with the noodles for a pretty presentation.
Serve with dipping sauce.
If that hasn't convinced you, then look at the leftovers!Who doesn't love a pink Vietnamese noodle salad made from spring roll leftovers?