One of my favorite side dishes at Vietnamese restaurants is the vegetable-stuffed rolls that are wrapped in rice/tapioca skins. It never occurred to me I could make them myself until recently when I thought I’d give it a try. Ok…it takes some practice, but it’s worth the effort of a few failed “logs” because these things are so tasty! Rice paper (see image) is sold in a dry, paper-like form in most grocery stores. You dip each sheet individually in a bowl of warm water, and the inedible rice paper sheet miraculously turns into the flexible, tender skin that you recognize at once. I just couldn’t believe that the dry form could ever turn into anything edible…I thought maybe the ones I’d purchased were old. They come out of the package brittle and plastic-like. A quick dip in warm water, though, and they’re ready to stretch over whatever you choose to stuff them with. I put everything in the center, fold opposite edges in first, then just roll, dip and eat.
Our Pakistani mulberries continue to offer up sparse yields after losing the early harvests to the high winds of April. This week, only large shares will see the unusual fruit. We’re hoping to be able to offer everyone tastes next week, weather permitting.
You’ll note a clamshell this week of an odd succulent vegetable: that’s our purslane. Grown for its nutritional value as well as its satisfying “crunch,” this year’s leaves seem to be more “lemony” that last year’s. The stalks are just as tasty as the leaves. I’ve included a couple recipe ideas for this hard-to-find veggie this week.