Fresh Thai Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Yield 4 servings

2 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated, rinsed and dried
3 medium carrots,  peeled
4 scallions
1 red bell pepper
16 rice paper (spring roll) wrappers
32 fresh mint leaves
32 small sprigs cilantro

1 recipe peanut sauce (recipe follows)

Remove the tough vein from the center of the lettuce leaves and discard.  Set the lettuce aside.  Cut the carrot, scallions, and red bell pepper into 4-inch long slices resembling matchsticks.

To prepare rolls: Dip a rice paper into a bowl of warm water until soft and pliable, about 5 seconds.  Shake off excess water and place onto a clean, smooth surface.  Stack several lettuce leaves on the lower third of the rice paper.  Top with a few carrot, scallion, and bell pepper matchsticks followed by 2 mint leaves and 2 cilantro sprigs.

Fold the bottom of the rice paper up over the veggies.  Fold the sides in and then roll up.  Repeat to make remaining rolls.

To serve: arrange on a platter and serve immediately with peanut sauce.

Peanut Sauce
yield 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup coconut milk
2 teaspoons Panang curry paste (pictured)
1 kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced (can substitute basil with dash of lime zest)
2 small finely minced shallots
2 Tbsp chopped ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp ground roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate

Place coconut milk, curry paste, lime leaf, shallots, ginger and garlic in a small saucepan.  Heat over medium-high heat until fragrant and oil separates.

Reduce heat to medium-low.  Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce becomes creamy and coats the back of a spoon.  Use immediately or cool and refrigerate for 3 days or freeze 3 months.  

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