The idea for this somewhat abominable (but oh so refreshing and delicious!) fusion project comes from White on Rice Couple, by way of The Kitchn. (They call them “spring rolls,” but in our house—correct or not—spring rolls are fried and salad rolls are fresh, so that’s what I’m calling them here.) They’re gluten-free, low carb, quick to make, and ideal for lunch or dinner. I even concocted an appropriate soy-Dijon fusion dipping sauce to go with them.
Also, word to the wise: This super-cheap brand of rice paper wrappers sucks. I think it was the very cheapest they had at the Asian market, and every single one became dotted with holes the minute it was soaked in water. Don’t buy it.
The amount of rolls you’ll get will vary, but it should be enough for two main-course servings.
• 3 roma tomatoes, chopped: 65 cents
• Approx. 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped: 70 cents
• Approx. 1/2 12-oz. package of rice paper wrappers: 60 cents
Soy-Dijon dipping sauce (also makes a phenomenal salad dressing):
• 2 T soy sauce: 10 cents
• 2 tsp sesame oil: 10 cents
• 1 T Dijon mustard: 5 cents
• Approx. 1/3 cup canola oil (to be honest, I really didn’t pay attention to how much I used; this is just a guess in case you’re super-low on oil): 8 cents
• 3 T balsamic vinegar: 20 cents
TOTAL: $2.88/2 = $1.44/serving
If you’ve never used rice-paper wrappers before, they can be a bit aggravating. Not only does quality vary widely from brand to brand, but they can be extremely difficult to wrap tightly. Just do the best you can; you should get the hang of it after two or three.
You’ll want to fill a pie plate or other dish large enough to fit a wrapper with hot—not necessarily boiling, but at least hot to the point of steaming—water. Put the wrapper in the water and let soak until soft but not totally falling apart. Again, time varies depending on brand, but 30 seconds is a good average. Remove and carefully lay flat on a dry surface. Make a small pile of lettuce, tomato, and bacon in the lower half (facing you) of the wrapper.
Fold the sides carefully over the center, then bring the bottom half of the wrapper up over the filling, trying to encase it as tightly as possible in a tube. Then finish rolling up, keeping the sides in and the wrap as tight as possible. Some salad and tomatoes will probably fall out and your wrapper may even break; simply adjust your technique for the next one. Here are some of my first ones which, as you can see, are not perfect, and I make salad rolls all the time.
To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients but the oil in a small food processor. Process to combine. Slowly add a little bit of oil—probably a couple teaspoons’ worth—then blend.
Repeat until the consistency is smooth, creamy, and emulsified. (Alternately, you can add the oil in a steady stream while whisking in a bowl, or in a food processor with a pour-through lid.)
Carefully cut each salad roll in half with a very sharp knife (on a bias if you’re fancy, which I am not) and serve with the dipping sauce.