Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Roll Salad

We love spring rolls, the Asian rolls wrapped in rice papers (not fried).  It's a great light meal for late evenings or hot weather.  I generally put all of the ingredients out and then we just roll our own putting in as much or as little of each ingredient as we desire.

This is basically just a deconstructed spring roll.  And it is good!  I prefer to use roasted shrimp, but you could certainly use some cooked chicken (a great place for leftovers).  I found the Japanese salad dressing recipe in own of my beloved Moosewood cookbooks (while tossed salads aren't a traditional Japanese food, they've become popular and often served in Japanese restaurants).

I'm listing the dressing recipe as I found it, but I only made a quarter of the recipe....just right for two entree salads.  And there are no amounts for salad ingredients, it just depends on how much you want to make (I roast my peeled and deveined shrimp with a bit of EVOO and black pepper on "High Broil," top rack for 3-6 mintues, depending on the size).

Serve this with egg rolls or potstickers on the side.

Salad Ingredients:
chopped lettuce (green or red leaf, romaine, or spring mix)
shredded cabbage
chopped cucumbers
carrots cut into matchsticks
rice noodles, run through hot water until softened
bean sprouts
chopped red pepper
fresh mint leaves, torn
fresh basil leaves, torn 
sliced green onions
cooked shrimp or chicken
roasted peanuts
salt to taste

Salad Dressing:
1 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 medium onion, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
1/2 medium carrot, grated small (about 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp dried mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp apple cider or apple juice
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup mild rice vinegar (you can use apple cider vinegar, but first bring to a boil and let cool to room temp)
S&P to taste

For the dressing:
In a food processor or blender, whirl the garlic, onion, carrot, and ginger for about 30 seconds (I simply whisked it).  Add the rest of the ingredients, except the S&P, and process until thickened.  Stir in S&P to taste.

For the salad:
Toss all of the salad ingredients together (can be made ahead and refrigerated).  You can either toss the shrimp or chicken with the salad, or serve it on top.  

When ready to serve, toss salad and dressing until well-covered.

Recipe Source for the dressing:  Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, 1990, p. 405

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