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Summer Vegetable Rolls with Rice Noodles

These fresh vegetable rolls are tender bundles of rice noodles, lettuce, shredded carrots and herbs. Arrange a platter of the ingredients and let diners make their own rolls, or assemble all of the rolls up to 30 minutes ahead of serving. Cover well with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms 
  • 2 tsp. canola or peanut oil 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce, plus more for serving 
  • 7 oz. thin dried rice noodles 
  • 12 to 16 rice-paper wrappers 
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced  
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced 
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and julienned 
  • 1 cup loosely packed mixed fresh herb sprigs, such as mint, cilantro and basil 
  • Asian red chili sauce for serving 
  • Asian peanut sauce for serving 

Directions:

Trim the stems from the mushrooms and slice the caps. In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 1/2 tsp. of the oil. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have released their juices, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the 1 tsp. soy sauce and cook until dry, about 1 minute more. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the noodles, stirring to separate them, and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Toss the noodles with the remaining 1/2 tsp. oil.

Fill a large, shallow bowl with very hot tap water. Soak the rice-paper wrappers 1 or 2 at a time until flexible, about 30 seconds. Shake off the excess water and stack on a plate.

Place 1 wrapper flat on a work surface. Arrange a combination of noodles, bell pepper, avocado, mushrooms, lettuce, carrots and herb sprigs across the center of the wrapper; fold the ends in over the filling, then roll up tightly from the edge closest to you. Repeat to make more rolls. Cut the rolls in half. Serve with a bowl of soy sauce with a dab of chili sauce and a bowl of peanut sauce alongside for dipping. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).