Summer Rolls, Good Times
By Nancy Eisman
As we get ready to say goodbye to Spring, and hello to Summer, recipe inspirations are at new fresh and light heights. Whipping up something delicious, and slightly exotic, that doesn’t require turning on a burner or oven, is starting to look very appealing.
Vietnamese (style) Summer Rolls are the answer when you crave something with some of the tasty ingredients of a Spring roll, but without the deep frying. Plus, as a bonus, Summer Rolls are in a gossamer-thin rice paper wrapping that not only keeps them extra light, but beautifully translucent to let the colorful insides show thru.
Traditional Summer Rolls include an array of fresh, crisp, flavorful vegetables, greens, herbs, a protein source (I use Melissa’s Hawaiian-Style Tofu
), and rice or cellophane noodles. This version swaps out the noodles for some linguine-like enoki mushrooms, for even more nutrition, and I may just make this a permanent substitution. Two additions I’ve made are ataulfo mango and avocado, because I think they make everything taste even better.
Summer Rolls are usually dipped or drizzled with a zesty sauce, often of a peanut butter- based variety, but I went a bit lighter and left the pb out. But don’t let that stop you.
However you fill them, roll them, cut them, or dip them, you’re going to love these bundles of fresh, healthy flavors. For lunch or dinner, or as a fun appetizer or snack, Summer Rolls are sure to become a favorite seasonal staple on your menu.
Summer Rolls, Good Times
8 Rice Paper Wrappers (9” diameter)
Matchstick pieces of the following:
1 cup Organic Mini Cucumbers
½ cup Daikon Radish
¾ cup Enoki Mushrooms
1 package Hawaiian-Style Tofu
1 Orange Bell Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 large Haas avocado
1 Ataulfo Mango
1½ cups Spring Mix
8 sprigs Fresh Mint
8 sprigs Fresh Cilantro
Juice of 1 Lime
1½ Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1½ Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1½ Tablespoons White Miso Paste
1 teaspoon Red Chile Flakes
2 Tablespoons Scallions, minced
Salt and Pepper, to taste
In a small bowl, combine all the dipping sauce ingredients together, whisk until combined and emulsified, and season to taste. Set aside.
While pretty simple to assemble, you will need to use a little dexterity when softening, handling, and rolling the rice paper. You may even fail on the first 1 or 2, kind of like when making pancakes. It’s completely normal. Prepare your fillings first, and stage them for easy access. One at a time, place a rice paper wrapper in a shallow bowl of warm water, about 10 seconds per side. Gently let any excess water roll off, then place on a plastic or ceramic work surface.
Layer your ingredients in the center of each circle, and then carefully wrap the roll up, burrito, egg roll or tamale style. You can leave one side open, like I did, for an interesting presentation and to show a preview of what’s inside. Cut each roll in half, place 3 halves on each of 4 plates, alongside a small dish of dipping sauce. Save the remaining halves for seconds.
My recipes are guides – feel free to make any substitutions you like.