Pickled Butternut Squash–Apple Winter Rolls with Cider Nuoc Cham
New World Bistro Bar, Albany NY; and New World Catering and New World Home Cooking Co., Saugerties, NY
This play on the classic Vietnamese summer roll combines tropical flavors with the ingredients of a Hudson Valley winter.
Cider Nuoc Cham:
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 1/4 cup apple cider
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped apple
- 2 tablespoons finely grated carrot
- 1 tablespoon finely grated daikon radish
- 1/2 teaspoon finely minced shallot
- 1/4 teaspoon finely minced garlic
Pickled Butternut Squash:
- 1 cup peeled and thinly sliced butternut squash
- 1 kaffir lime leaf (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely sliced ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon white peppercorns
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- Eight 8-inch round rice paper wrappers
- 1 head bibb lettuce
- 1/2 tart apple, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup mung bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup diced tofu
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallion
- 1/4 cup mint leaves, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- Sriracha to taste
Make the nuoc cham: combine the sugar and boiling water in a medium bowl; mix to dissolve the sugar. Add the cider, fish sauce, mint, apples, carrots, daikon, shallots, and garlic; stir to combine. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Make the pickled squash: place the butternut squash, lime leaf, peppercorns, and ginger in a large non-reactive bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the hot water with the salt. Pour over the butternut squash. Add the rice vinegar. Stir to combine. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Make the winter rolls: submerge one rice paper wrapper in a plate or sheet tray filled with hot water for about 30 seconds. Transfer the softened wrapper to a clean plate. Repeat with a second wrapper and place it on top of the first one.
Lay a bibb lettuce leaf on the lower third of the stacked wrappers. Add small amounts of the pickled squash, apples, peanuts, bean sprouts, tofu, scallions, mint, and cilantro. Add a few drops of Sriracha if desired. Drizzle with a teaspoon of nuoc cham.
Gently take the bottom edges of the wrappers and roll them upward, covering the filling. Fold over the sides of the wrappers. Resume rolling from the bottom until you’ve formed a sealed roll.
Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
To serve, slice the rolls diagonally and garnish with peanuts and mint leaves. Serve with nuoc cham on the side for dipping.