food for the mind

In the Kitchen

Wintery Spring Rolls


  • 3 rice paper wrappers
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 3 springs of fresh mint
  • 3 springs of fresh cilantro
  • 6 baby kale leaves
  • 1/2 cup cooked vermicelli noodles (optional)
  • 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup satay sauce


In bowl of hot water, dip each rice paper wrapper for 3 seconds. Place on a flat work surface and fold in half. Add 1/3 of the ingredients (except satay sauce) to 1/3 of the available surface of the rice paper wrapper. Tuck and roll the rice paper wrapper. Repeat for the remainder of the wrappers.

Serve with satay sauce.


Last Friday week, I was en route to LAX when our plane was suddenly diverted. There had been a shooting at Terminal 3 and chaos ensued, including the diversion of all planes that were due to land. We headed north…to San Francisco.

A 7-hour drive from my desired location. Not that it mattered, I can’t drive anyway. My options were sparse. Spend $2000 on a coach seat from SF to LAX or convince a fellow passenger to drive to LA.

I opted for the latter. My driving companion was a Brit with Robin Thicke looks. My intuition told me, I’d be safe driving 7 hours with a complete stranger. I trusted it. It served me well.

Before we hit the road, I stopped at Plant, an organic eatery at SFO. I chose summer spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce. They were so good, that I decided I’d make them once I returned to New York.

I’m back in New York, and here’s the recipe. I added some kale for a winter infusion.

I picked up the satay sauce from a local Thai restaurant. I decided it was cheaper (and easier) to do that than buy a whole jar of peanut butter and other sauces to make it myself.

Enjoy (without having to be in San Francisco)!

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