Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Orange-Almond Sauce

spring rolls with orange almond sauce recipe-1654

Servings: Makes 16 rolls      Prep Time: 15 minutes      Cook Time: 15 minutes

You can make these rolls up to a day ahead. Here's what you need to remember: Place the rolls on a clean, dry plate in a single layer. If you want to stack multiple layers, place a sheet of plastic wrap between each layer. This prevents the rolls from sticking to each other. When all rolls are done, make sure you cover everything with plastic wrap - this prevents the rice paper from drying out in the refrigerator.

If you can't find almond butter - you can use any type of nut butter.

OPTIONAL: Soak the matchstick carrots and julienned cucumbers in 3 tablespoons of seasoned rice vinegar. It will add the amazing "zing" that you'll love!

Recipe adapted from The Blender Girl by Tess Masters

Ingredients:

FOR THE SPRING ROLLS
6 ounces dried rice vermicelli noodles
16 large dried rice paper wrappers
8 large lettuce leaves, preferably soft ones, halved and hard ribs removed
1 cup, matchstick cut carrots
2 cucumbers, julienned
1-2 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
1-2 bell pepper, cored, julienned
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1 cup loosely packed mint
1 cup loosely packed basil




FOR THE ORANGE ALMOND SAUCE
1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup raw almond butter
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon honey or coconut nectar
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Soak the noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes, until soft. Drain.

To assemble the rolls, fill a shallow dish half full with hot water (hot to the touch but not boiling. and submerge one rice paper wrapper for 5 seconds, let excess water drop off.  Place wrapper on a clean, dry surface and fold in half to form a half-circle. The wrapper should still be a bit stiff, but will soften by the time you've finished filling with vegetables.

Place a lettuce leaf in the middle of the half-circle and top it with a forkful of noodles, and then add a bit of each of the vegetables and herbs.  Carefully roll up the Vietnamese Spring Roll and set it on a dish, seam-side down in single layer. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. If not serving immediately, chill in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap. 

To make the dipping sauce, throw all of the ingredients into your blender and puree on high for about 1 minute, until well combined. You may want to add an additional tablespoon or two of water to thin out the sauce. Stir in sesame seeds. Serve alongside the rolls.