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October 3, 2009

Who I am: a kid who just realized I’m supposed to be an adult now, a graduated English major, an amateur cook, a devotee of the farmers’ market, a recently converted vegan.  I live in Wisconsin, where I’m fortunate enough to have access to a huge variety of seasonal produce, which I chop up, sauté, roast, simmer, and otherwise shape into meals.  Mostly.  I’ve had some fairly spectacular failures as well (just ask my friends about the salty eggplant fiasco), but you know what they say about practice.

I’ve started this blog as a sort of cookbook-in-progress, a record for myself of things that worked.  An insurance policy against reinventing the wheel.  In the hopes that my cooking and eating might inspire others.  As a motivator to keep saving up for a camera that will take decent pictures.

All right.  Enough blogging about my blog.

Peppery Autumn Spring Rolls with Soba Noodles and Mustard Sauce

serves 2

1 poblano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 beauty heart radish, roughly julienned
5-6 baby carrots, roughly julienned
large handful spinach, chiffonaded
3 green onions, sliced into thin rounds
8 spring roll wrappers

For dipping sauce:

4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp cider vinegar

For noodles:

1 roll soba noodles (mine come 3 rolls/250 g package)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

1. Set water to boil for soba noodles.  Prepare vegetables in neat piles so they’re easy to access once you’ve begun filling your spring rolls.  Fill a skillet or wide, shallow pan with warm water to soften your spring roll wrappers.  I usually set up my counter like this: skillet on the left, towel for the wrappers in the middle, fillings on the right.



2. Dip a wrapper into the water and wait for it to soften (15-20 seconds).  Remove it carefully and set it on a damp towel.  If it sticks to itself as you’re lifting it, just drop it back into the water and pull it apart.



3. Blot the wrapper with a dry towel until sticky.  Stack fillings horizontally a few inches from the bottom of the wrapper.  Pull the bottom up over the fillings, then fold the sides in and roll into a small cylinder.  Repeat with all eight wrappers.


4. When you’ve finished wrapping your spring rolls, toss the soba noodles into your now-boiling water and whisk together mustard, cider vinegar, and sesame oil for sauce.

5. Drain and quickly rinse the noodles, toss with sesame oil and sesame seeds, and serve immediately with dipping sauce on the side.


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