Now that’s quite a concept! To make it even more interesting, this recipe involves the use of rice paper rounds. In the past I thought this incredible product was relegated to Asian food, but not so. This simple appetizer bears little resemblance to what you’re probably thinking of as a spring roll. When I think of those I’m reminded of shredded carrots, and cucumber with some mint and cilantro and maybe a few shrimp thrown in and then served with that addictive peanut dipping sauce. These use the rice paper as the wrapper, but the filling is quite different.
I was drawn to this hors d’oeuvres for a few reasons. The first being, who doesn’t like caesar salad? A little nibbly with those flavors had to be interesting. Secondly, you can make them a few hours ahead, refrigerate and slice when you’re ready to serve. And last, but not least, I saw the word “prosciutto” in the recipe!
Not that I needed an excuse to try this, but we were invited to join a few friends for cocktails in their hotel room and I wanted to bring something that would be easy to eat, no mess involved and not very heavy. These fit the bill!
Caesar Salad Spring Rolls
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon minced anchovies (I used a little anchovy paste)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup of 1/4″ cubes crustless sourdough bread
8 8-1/2″ diameter rice paper rounds
16 paper-thin slices prosciutto
4 large romaine lettuce leaves, cut lengthwise into 1/4″ wide strips
1-1/2 cups baby arugula leaves
Whisk dressing ingredients together and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Melt butter in small skillet over medium heat. Add bread cubes and saute until golden. Turn out onto paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Pour some warm water into a large shallow dish (I like to use a large skillet). Submerge one rice paper round in water until it begins to soften, about 45 seconds. Place on a sheet of parchment paper. Top with 2 slices of prosciutto, arranged side by side and covering most of rice paper round. place 1/8 of lettuce and arugula down center. Tightly roll into a cylinder, enclosing filling. Repeat with remaining rounds. Cover with a dampened paper towel or wrap in plastic. Chill. Can be made 4 hours ahead.
When ready to serve, remove from plastic and cut each piece into three 2′ long pieces. Stand upright on platter and top with a dollop of dressing and croutons.