I've been on an unsubscribing and deleting frenzy lately. Maybe it's the new-age version of spring cleaning, but something inside me is screaming to purge. It started with me reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up . Like so many people who have picked up that book, I was immediately inspired to go through my entire closet, and give away those shirts and shoes that I look at and go: MEH. I got rid of five giant bags of stuff. FIVE bags! I didn't even know I had that many clothes, or rather, so many clothes that I didn't love so much. It felt so good, I started doing it in all other areas of my life.
If you've read the book, you know that she tells you to do it all at once, but since I convinced myself that I will probably never dedicate a whole day or weekend to purging and cleaning .... I did it my way. It worked for me, it was contagious, and even though I didn't follow her instructions exactly, the need to purge and rid my life of things that I do not love is now something that is in me, and it will probably never go away. It crept it's way into my digital life as well. I deleted so many emails last weekend that my phone had a total freak out. It was like: GAH! What are you doing? It took a day or two for it to calm down, and now I think my phone, like me, is much happier without holding on to so much dead weight.
What is it about spring that makes us want to clean up our closest, clean up our emails, and clean up our act? It is because the weather is getting warmer and we want to be our best to enjoy every minute of the sunshine? Is it that we hibernate in the winter and collect things and dust, and when the spring comes around we have the urge to get rid of that thick, blah layer of stuff? Who knows, but whatever the reason is, I love it. I love spring, and I love to clean and purge.
The first signs of spring are happening in NYC, even if the weather cannot make up it's mind. Ramps have made an appearance, and the sun has shown it's warmth on a couple of occasions. My winter clothes are making their way to the back of the closet, and the sweaters that I no longer love are making their way to Goodwill. Spring and summer always feel so much sweeter after enduring the grueling winter.
So, let's celebrate spring with one of my favorite snack-y foods that has spring in it's name. And while we are at it, I am going to throw my favorite spring allium in there, the ramp. You probably know what ramps are, they are spring's trendiest new food, but if you have never heard of them or cannot find them, any green onion-type veggie will do. I am also doing a little spring cleaning with this recipe, by getting the most out of each veggie. Using the stems, which sometimes get discarded, and using leftover parts of veggies from the spring roll, and adding them to this super tasty and healthy green goddess dipping sauce.
swiss chard stems + ramp spring rolls with miso green goddess dipping sauce
about 5 spring rolls
1 bunch of swiss chard (about 10 leaves), stems separated from the leaves
salt + pepper
5 ramps, white and green parts separated
1 avocado (split in half, one half for the rolls and the other for the sauce)
1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced into 3" long matchsticks
a large handful of microgreens
5-6 large spring roll skins
for the green goddess dipping sauce:
3 swiss (green) chard leaves (reserved from the rolls)
5 of the white parts of the ramps (reserved from the rolls)
the other half of the avocado (reserved from the rolls)
1 small garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon of sweet white miso
10 basil leaves
1/4 cup of parsley
the juice of 1/2 lemon
a pinch of salt (if necessary)
*Pre-heat the oven to 375º
Prep the veggies + making the dipping sauce:
- Chop the cucumber and the chard stems into matchsticks, no longer than 3". The chard stems you will want to make sure are extra skinny, you may even want to make them smaller than 3", because they can be chewy, so the smaller they are, the easier they are to eat in the spring roll. Slice one half of the avocado into lengthwise slices, and slice the green parts of the ramps in half lengthwise.
- Then, to make the dipping sauce, place 3 of the chard leaves, the white parts of the ramps, the other half of the avocado, 1 small garlic clove, the miso, basil, parsley, and lemon juice into the food processor. Pulse a few times to chop the ingredients, and then add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it's smooth. Taste and add salt or adjust and seasoning necessary. Set aside until you're ready to serve.
Roast the chard stems:
- Place the chard stems onto a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes until tender. Remove, and allow to cool before adding to the rolls.
Roll the spring rolls:
- Have all of your ingredients, including the dipping sauce, near your rolling station. Fill a large, shallow bowl with warm water. Dip the spring roll skin into the water for about 10-15 second, until pliable, and then place it onto a clean, flat surface. Stack the ramp greens, cucumber, chard stems, and avocado in the center of the spring roll. Add a small spoonful of the sauce and finish with a pinch of microgreens. Fold the bottom half of the spring roll snugly over the filling, and then fold in the sides. Finish by rolling the ingredients away from you until it is tightly wrapped. Repeat these steps until you've used all of the ingredients. If you like, you can use a serrated knife to cut the rolls in half down the center. Serve with the remaining dipping sauce on the side.