Todd + Diane of White on Rice Couple accepted our challenge to elevate holiday party food, and created this amazing wintertime tapas spread that’s perfectly suited for casual hang-outs and fancy gatherings. Their spin on Vietnamese spring rolls is full of the flavors we crave this time of year. Read on for this small bites recipe – and if you like Todd + Diane’s style, check-out their Bountiful cookbook!
Roasted Asparagus Spring Rolls With Bacon
1 bunch tender baby asparagus (about 1⁄2 pound / 225g)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly cracked black pepper
12 slices bacon, fried
1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (optional)
Fresh basil or mint leaves
Rice paper wrappers
Garlic Soy Dipping Sauce (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
2. Trim any dry or tough ends from the asparagus spears. On a sheet pan, toss the asparagus with the oil. Add pepper to taste. (Do not salt the asparagus because the bacon will be salty.)
3. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the asparagus.)
4. Gather the asparagus, bacon, cucumber, carrot (if using), lettuce leaves, herb leaves, and rice paper wrappers and prepare to roll.
How To Roll
1. Fill a large bowl with warm (bath-temperature) water. Gently dip each rice paper wrapper in the water for a few seconds, just until damp. (Don’t oversoak.) Place the wrapper on a plate or wooden board. As the wrap- per begins to absorb the water and becomes softer and pliable (10 to 30 seconds, depending on the thick- ness of the wrappers and the water temperature), begin to add the fillings.
2. On the one-third of the wrapper closest to you, place a layer of each filling (asparagus, one slice of bacon, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, and herb leaves.)
3. Start rolling the wrapper over the fillings, away from you, tucking and rolling the wrapper with your fin- gers, making sure all the fillings remain within the wrapper and tucking in the sides as you roll.
4. Serve immediately, or cover with plastic wrap to eat a few hours later.
Todd Porter + Diane Cu are the photographers behind White On Rice Couple, where they share their love of connecting to people through good food, traveling, and stories. They’re also the authors of the Bountiful cookbook. You can follow them on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
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Images: White on Rice Couple