Thursday, January 15, 2009

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls with Cranberry-Chile Dipping Sauce

I know it is getting old. You come to my blog. I profess my love for butternut squash in any form. Well, sorry- the story is not changing. Today, I added another of my favorites- cranberries.

I saw this very interesting recipe on The Recipe Girl and thought it would be the perfect way to use up some of the rice paper wrappers I had in my pantry. Plus, the combination of ingredients just sounded so interesting and well, delicious.

I mean, who doesn't love pumpkin seeds? I was afraid that there wouldn't be any of them left to put in the wrappers because they taste so good roasted.

Don't worry, I made sure some of them made it in.

These rolls required a little bit of extra work, but the final product was oh-so-tasty and worth it. Everyone was pleased.

Cranberries were going for $1 a bag, so I stocked up on them and put a bunch in the freezer. The dipping sauce is reminiscent of cranberry salsa or another fruit salsa, just a little bit tarter. Delish!

Butternut Squash & Pumpkin Seed Rice Paper Rolls w/ Cranberry- Chile Dipping Sauce from The Recipe Girl

who adapted it from Veganomicon
A delicious twist on this Asian favorite...
1 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch cubes
2 to 3 tsp olive oil
Twelve 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 (pumpkin seeds)
DIPPING SAUCE: (about 2 cups)
1 cup whole, fresh cranberries
1½ cups cold water
½ cup granulated sugar
1 to 2 large serrano chiles, seeded and finely minced (use 1 or 2 based on spice preference)
2 Tbs fresh lime juice

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 tsp. olive oil. Add another tsp. 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 form 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 ¼ cup of rice noodles in the lower third of the wrapper, leaving about 1½ 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.

Yield: 12 rolls

Cooking 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.
**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

Coming Tomorrow- Cranberry Scones and Cranberry-Orange Muffins


Barbara Bakes said...

What a great healthy recipe! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I had fun exploring your terrific blog. I don't know why I haven't stumbled on it before now. It looks like we follow a lot of the same blogs!

Steph said...

Your recipes are never old!! If I never visited, I would never know all the different and yummy ways butternut squash can be eaten and for me would only include boiling or roasting. Your always have the best recipe ideas!!

Maria said...

Cranberries and squash are perfect together! I am never sick of squash recipes!

Peggy said...

tell me about your berry cake??? I'm getting worried.

Cathy said...

Mare, you could post butternut squash recipes EVERY DAY and they would never get old, because your food is always so fresh, innovative, colorful and just plain irresistible. And this recipe is no exception!

Anonymous said...

Oh, those sound delicious. I just bought Veganomicon. I'm going to have to check out that recipe.

(I love butternut squash too).

Nancy/n.o.e said...

To answer the question you asked on my blog, which answered my comment on your previous post (gotta love these combox conversations!) - I tried something crazy with my berry cake (made it gluten free) and it was just too tricky of a recipe on its own to handle that. Sunk is not the proper word. Can you say brick? Full details on Tuesday (except I didn't take pictures of the full damage).

Nancy/n.o.e said...

Oh, how rude of me! I forgot to comment on this beautiful dish - it looks delicious, especially as much as you like butternut squash! Did I tell you I made that butternut/quinoa/sage dish for Christmas dinner? It was really good. And so pretty! Took the picture with my 3rd string camera and may never post it...

Jessica said...

Those look delicious. I think that I love cranberries as much as you love butternut squash so it's the dipping sauce that has me really interested!

Alexa said...

These rice paper rolls sound delicious. I made some last year by roasting butternut squash with ginger until it caramelized... it was an amazing meal. I'm bookmarking this one. Thanks Mary Ann and Recipe Girl!