Cutting the spinach chiffonade-style for this salad is simple. Just stack 10 or so leaves, roll them together, then use a knife to cut thin slices across the roll to produce thin ribbons.
Soy, wonton or other wrappers that can be baked can be substituted for the spring roll wrappers called for in the recipe. Even soft flour tortillas would work well, though they may require a bit longer in the oven.If substituting another wrapper, disregard the soaking step before molding the wraps over the bowls and baking.
SPRING ROLL BOWL
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Four 8-inch spring roll wrappers (wonton, soy or other wrappers can be substituted)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon wasabi paste
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch ground ginger
Pinch ground star anise (optional)
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 ounces baby spinach, cut into thin ribbons
12 ounces smoked salmon (thinly sliced if not presliced in the package)
Preheat oven to 325 F. Arrange 4 oven-safe bowls of roughly equal size upside down on a baking sheet. Coat the outside of the bowls with cooking spray. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with warm water. Place one spring roll wrapper in the water. Let soak until just softened, about 10 to 20 seconds. Remove the wrapper and drape it over a bowl. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
Spritz the wrappers with additional cooking spray, then bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until the wrappers have hardened and are lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the wrappers cool on the bowls.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl use an electric mixer to whip the cream cheese. Add the wasabi paste and continue beating until well mixed. Set aside.
To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Continue whisking and drizzle in the sesame oil. Set aside.
Carefully remove each spring roll wrapper bowl and place right side up on a serving plate.
Place the spinach in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing. Toss to coat, then divide the spinach between the spring-roll "bowls." Top each salad with slices of salmon, cherry tomatoes and a dollop of wasabi cream cheese.