Vegetable salad all rolled up

Emma Christensen

I have to confess that I’m a rather reluctant salad eater. I blame a childhood of side salads topped with gloppy ranch dressing and cherry tomatoes as hard as rubber balls.

But wrap that salad up and call it a spring roll, add a rainbow of crunchy fresh vegetables and give it a spicy sauce instead of sad dressing? Oh, I’m all over that. And I think any reluctant salad eaters at your table will be, too.

These spring rolls make a fresh and surprisingly satisfying lunch, especially with some creamy avocado rolled up with the vegetables and a spicy Sriracha-mayo sauce on the side for dipping. I also punch up the flavor of the vegetables themselves with a bit of rice vinegar dressing sprinkled over top just before rolling everything up.

You can prep all the vegetables (except the avocado) several days in advance and keep them refrigerated to make daily lunch prep extra quick. The prepared spring rolls can also be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for a few hours before eating. (The plastic wrap keeps them from sticking to each other or becoming overly soggy.)

Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium yellow bell pepper

1 large carrot

1/4 small head purple cabbage

1 medium avocado

1 cup microgreens or sprouts

1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce

10 large rice paper wrappers

Trim the bumpy tops and bottoms from the bell peppers, remove the seeds from the inside and then slice the peppers lengthwise as thin as possible. Peel the carrot, then cut it into very thin matchsticks (or shred on a box grater). Slice the wedge of purple cabbage into thin shredded pieces. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and then slice it (still in the peel) into very thin slices; use a soup spoon to scoop the slices from the peel.

Next, whisk together the dressing and dipping sauce. Whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil in a small ramekin. In another dish, whisk together the mayonnaise with a little Sriracha; taste and add more hot sauce if needed.

Assemble the spring rolls. Fill a pie pan or other shallow dish with very warm water. Submerge one of the spring roll wrappers in the warm water until softened, but still slightly stiff, 15 to 25 seconds. (If you wait until it is entirely softened, it’s more likely to tear when you assemble the rolls.)

Lay the softened wrapper on your work surface. Quickly lay a few pieces of red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrot and cabbage in the lower-middle of the wrapper. Lay a few pieces of avocado beneath the veggies and lay a small pile of microgreens on top. Sprinkle a spoonful of the rice vinegar dressing over the vegetables.

Fold the sides of the wrapper over the filling, then roll it up, starting at the bottom. Repeat with filling and rolling the remaining spring rolls.

Serve right away with the Sriracha-mayo dipping sauce. You can also wrap the spring rolls individually in plastic wrap and eat them within a few hours; the plastic wrap helps keep them from becoming soggy or sticking to each other. Serves 2, makes about 10 rolls.

Per serving: 658 calories; 39 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 53 percent calories from fat); 67 g carbohydrates; 10 g sugar; 16 mg cholesterol; 324 mg sodium; 13 g protein; 11 g fiber.