Rice paper is really easy to work with. They come in hard sheets, and you just have to soak them in hot water for a few seconds until they become pliable. Then they're ready to be filled with vegetables, rolled up, and served with the carrot-ginger dipping sauce - which is amazing in and of itself (it is very similar to my Asian ginger carrot dressing - if you like the dressing at hibachi restaurants, this is the dipping sauce/dressing for you).
Rachael was my expert summer roll wrapper while I worked on chopping the vegetables and making the sauce. We were a pretty good team.
The end result was, like I said, a fun and delicious way to eat your salad. These rolls were filled with beets, carrots, cucumber, red bell pepper, and daikon radish, but you could swap different veggies in or out. In fact, on my mom's request, I added some chopped lettuce to them as well. The dipping sauce was great and I caught people dipping not only their summer rolls but pretzels in it before dinner! Everyone seemed to like them, with the exception of Alex, who said the rice paper texture freaked him out. It is kind of weird to eat a food that is see-through, but I promise it doesn't really have a taste and is just there to hold everything together!
summer rolls with carrot-ginger dipping sauce
from Meatless by Martha Stewart
for the rolls:
6 rice paper wrappers (8-inch size)
2 cups radish or alfalfa spouts
1 red beet, scrubbed, trimmed and very thinly sliced crosswise (I physically could not slice it so I made matchsticks!)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 Kirby cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into matchsticks
3/4 cup coarsely grated daikon radish
for the sauce:
3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 small shallot, quartered
2 tablespoons coarsely grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
pinch of each of coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup canola or safflower oil
1/4 cup water
1) Make the rolls: soak 1 rice paper wrapper in a large bowl of hot water just until pliable. Transfer to a work surface and smooth to make flat. Place one-sixth of the sprouts, beet slices, carrot, cucumber, bell pepper, and daikon on the bottom third of the wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold bottom of paper over fillings, tuck in sides, and roll up tightly to enclose. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling ingredients to make 5 more rolls.
2) Make the sauce: puree carrots, shallot, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a food processor until smooth. With machine running, add oil and then water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream until smooth. Serve sauce with summer rolls.