Butternut Squash Spring Rolls

This recipe has been featured in a post on The Recipe Girl blog: Butternut Squash Rice Paper Rolls

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Butternut Squash Spring Rolls

Yield: 12 rolls

Prep Time: 60 min

The butternut squash is lightly caramelized, imparting that delicious flavor, and the pumpkin seeds add earthiness and crunch.

Ingredients:

ROLLS:
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, & cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
12 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles or rice sticks (the kind you boil in water)
1 cup fresh cilantro, torn into bite-sized pieces (or use Thai basil)
1/3 cup roasted, salted pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)

DIPPING SAUCE: (about 2 cups)
1 cup whole, fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups cold water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 to 2 large serrano chiles, seeded & finely minced (use 1 or 2 based on spice preference)
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions:

1. Prepare Sauce: Combine cranberries, water and sugar in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. When the cranberries start to pop, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for about 5 minutes. Add the minced chiles and lime juice, bring to a boil again, and then lower the heat to medium-low. Stir the sauce occasionally, using the back of a wooden spoon to mash some of the cranberries against the sides of the pot. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by about less than one-fourth and looks syrupy. Remove from heat. The sauce will thicken up more as it cools. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

2. Prepare the squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place the butternut squash cubes in a bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add another teaspoon if you need to- the squash should all have a light coat of olive oil. Arrange cubes in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss, and cook for 10 more minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized. (See Tip below for roasting the pumpkin seeds at the same time). Transfer the squash to a plate to cool.

3. While the squash is cooking, prepare the noodles (use the directions on the package). Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to prevent further cooking. Set aside until ready to use.

4. To assemble: Fill a large pie plate or bowl with very warm water; tap water works just fine. Place two rice paper wrappers in the water at a time, completely submerged and let sit for about a minute, just until they have softened.

5. Handle each wrapper gently as you place it on your work surface (remove both when softened- don't leave in the water). Place about 1/4 cup of rice noodles in the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of margin from the far edges on either side (you'll be folding those in). Place a layer of butternut squash on top of the noodles. Sprinkle with the cilantro and pumpkin seeds. To roll, snugly fold the left and right sides of the wrapper over the filling and tuck it underneath the filling, then roll firmly but gently. Place the rolls seam-side-down on a plate and cut in half when ready to serve. Mix the dipping sauce ingredients together and stir rigorously to dissolve the sugar. Serve with the rolls.

Tips:

*To roast pumpkin seeds, spread raw pepitas on a baking sheet and place in the oven at the same time that you're roasting your butternut squash. I gave pumpkin seeds a quick spray of Pam and sprinkled them with salt. Watch closely and stir often. They should begin to brown in about 7 to 10 minutes.
*If preparing this as a gluten-free recipe, make sure that your rice paper wrappers and rice noodles do not have any added wheat in their ingredients list.
*When you get ready to assemble, it's helpful to set up a little assembly line of the fillings- placed into little bowls makes assembling more efficient.

Source: RecipeGirl.com (Adapted from Veganomicon)