Artichoke, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Spring Rolls

P1011929Adapted from The Cheese Lover’s Cookbook and Guide
Serves 4 as part of a main course or 8 as an appetizer
Ingredients:
– 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
– 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
– 1/4 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
– 1 tablespoon coarsely grated carrots
– 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
– 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
– Sugar, to taste
– 1 can (8.5 ounces) artichoke hearts, single package frozen artichokes or 4 large artichokes
– Salt
– 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
– 4 ounces (1/2 cup) fresh goat cheese, crumbled
– 1/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
– 1 dash or up to 6 drops hot chile sauce
– 2 cups julienned spinach leaves
– 2 cups julienned lettuce leaves
– 15 large leaves fresh basil, cut into very thin strips
– 15 large leaves fresh mint, cut into very thin strips
– 10 stems fresh cilantro, leaves only, cut into very thin strips
– 1 carrot, peeled and cut into long strips with a vegetable peler
– 1/4 cup matchstick julienne of red bell pepper (1 inch long)
– 8 square or round rice paper wrappers

Method:

For the dipping sauce, mix all the ingredients together. Transfer to a small serving bowl and set aside at room temperature while you prepare spring rolls.

For the spring rolls, drain the canned artichokes, if using, and rinse under cold water. Squeeze out the excess liquid and roughly chop them by hand or in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. (You should have about 1 cup.) Sprinkle with the lemon juice.

Or, if using fresh artichokes, cut away the leaves, stems, and chokes with a sharp knife. Rinse the artichoke hearts and rub with the lemon juice. Heat 1 inch water in a heavy saucepan fitted with a steaming basket, add the artichoke hearts, cover, and steam over medium heat for 20 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate to cool. Chop the artichoke hearts by hand or in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade into 1/4-inch pieces and season with salt.

Place the chopped artichokes in a medium bowl and add the goat cheese, ginger, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the chile sauce. Mix well. On a large sheet of waxed paper, divide the mixture into 8 portions. Toss the spinach, lettuce, basil, mint, and cilantro together and divide into 8 piles. Mix the carrots and bell pepper together and divide into 8 portions.

To assemble the spring rolls, one at a time, soak the rice paper wrappers in cool water for about 3 minutes. Remove them as they soften and lay on a damp towel to rain; cover with another towel to blot dry. Place a softened wrapper on a work surface, with a point facing you. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water. Place a portion of the artichoke and cheese mixture, then of carrot and pepper mixture. Fold the top of the sides inward over the rolled section and continue rolling (moistening the paper again if necessary) until you have a tightly sealed roll. Repeat with the remaining rolls. Refrigerate the spring rolls until chilled. (The rolls can be prepared several hours in advance.)

To serve, cut each roll in half on the diagonal. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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