15 July 2008

On spelt pasta and feeling relieved

Spelt pasta?

Veggies ready

Pasta ready!

Salad rolls finished and packed for hubby consumption

Salad roll filling

This evening I decided to be adventurous and try TWO new recipes. I've never made my own fresh salad rolls before, and since I was making a pasta dish (see previous obsession post) that included matchstick size veggies, I decided that a similar shape veggie combo might round out a meatless meal. Ian and I have become more meat savvy as of late, and just about every time we shop we drool at the yak meat (too expensive right now) and end up buying and eating ground buffalo, so for Tuesday's dinner it seemed like a good idea to go veg.

I have to admit, I thought I would have a hard time with the salad rolls. Everywhere I read I'm reminded of the horrors of salad wrappers, but I didn't run into any problems whatsoever. I've never had a more reassuring moment. It's as if the heavens cleared and allowed for a brief moratorium on cooking horrors.

On deck this evening, we also tried spelt pasta, which I have to admit is hard to make al dente as other pastas, and has a very faint bitter aftertaste. I'll try it again I suppose, but I'll have to think of something that will tone down the flavor of the pasta rather than amplifying it...

Spelt Pasta with Zucchini and Spring Onions
8 oz. spelt pasta
Block of tofu, diced
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tsp.
3 spring onions, sliced thinly, both white and green parts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 zucchini, sliced to matchstick size
Romano cheese, to taste

Cook pasta according to pasta instructions. While pasta is cooking, bring olive oil to medium heat and fry tofu for three minutes. Remove tofu from pan and add saute spring onions and garlic until fragrant. Remove from heat.

Place zucchini in a colander and once pasta is ready to be drained, drain it in the same colander, on top of zucchini.

Place pasta and zucchini in a serving bowl and add olive oil. Toss to coat. Add olive oil/spring onion/garlic mixture, and toss again. Add fried tofu. Sprinkle romano cheese to taste.

Fresh Salad Rolls
8-10 spring roll wrappers
Warm water
8 oz. rice vermicelli, cooked
1 mango, julienned
1/2 cup cucumber, julienned
4 tbsp. cilanto, chopped coarsely
2 tsp. lime juice
2 spring onions, chopped

In a medium sized bowl, mix together vermicelli, mango, cucumber, cilantro, lime juice and spring onions.

For each spring roll wrapper, place in warm water and place on a work surface. Distribute two tbsp. filling onto wrapper, and then fold spring roll wrapper over. Tuck sides in and then roll over onto rest of skin. (This part may take practice--if you've ever worked in a Mexican restaurant like I have you instinctively know how to wrap a burrito, but I've heard horror stories on this one). Place on serving plate and if you need to layer rolls, place wax paper or plastic wrap between layers. I refrigerate first so the spring roll wrappers have time to "set."

Simple Salad Roll Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. lime rind

Combine all ingredients. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to two hours.

Note: I didn't actually work from any strict recipes here, so you might have to adjust....probably a lot....I can remember to write down my bank account number but my head is firmly planted elsewhere most of the time.


Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Is buffalo cheap by you? I love it but it's expensive here.

Dr. Food said...

We've been lucky enough to find it at $5/lb!