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Vietnamese "Cold Rolls"

From Athens Locally Grown

<p>When a friend returned from bicycling across Viet Nam, she shared this recipe with us. We adapted it into a kid-friendly family version by putting out the chopped ingredients separately in little bowls. Let everyone choose what they want to add, then fold them into little packets and dip them in the sauce (see separate listing for Easy Vietnamese Basic Dipping Sauce). Little kids and big ones alike love the element of personal control!</p>
Source: Our own recipe, based on a traditional Vietnamese one (Entered by Janice Matthews)
Serves: adjustable; amounts are approximately per serving. Adapt accordingly.

1 to 3 leaves green cabbage
1 T. chopped rau ram, Thai basil, mint &/or coriander
1 small carrot, shredded
1 small finely sliced cucumber
1 leaf lettuce, finely sliced
1 handful rice vermicelli noodles

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Slip cabbage leaves into a pot of boiling salted water until they are pliable enough to roll up later. Then remove them and set them aside on a towel to cool and drain.
  2. Chop very coarsely, then mix together, the carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, and whatever mix of fresh herbs you are using. The mixture should look like lots of fresh herbs with a few other things in it.
  3. Soak the rice vermicelli noodles in a bowl of cold water until they are soft. Drain them well. Chop them up a bit if you wish to.
  4. Make a simple dressing/dipping sauce (see separate recipe) or use a purchased one.(It's called Nuoc Cham, pronounced "Nook Chahm.")
  5. Either do this step yourself before serving all the rolls on a plate, or let each person do their own. Just place a small amount of noodles into a bowl, and mix them with a handful of the veggie mix and a bit of the dressing. Then place a cabbage leaf on the plate, add some of the mix, and roll it all up like a burrito.
  6. Dunk the rolls into the leftover dressing as a dipping sauce, eat, and repeat until full!