It has always struck me as interesting that spring rolls are filled with summer items. The produce that is in season this time of year is perfect for creating this light and healthy dish. Much more so than a lot of the food of spring.
Now you all know me. How often do I honestly use the words “light and healthy?” Not frequently. But last week I spent 4 days in Charleston, SC eating some of the most incredible food I could ever imagine. And now, I am paying the price for it. But I’m not content with plates of broccoli to get back on a healthier track – I want delicious combinations of veggies, protein, and as many fresh herbs as I can use. That’s the other thing about summer, it never seems possible to use all the fresh herbs growing on my porch.
Aside from eating not-so-healthy food in Charleston, it also reignited my desire to create in the kitchen. I’ve been utterly uninspired in recent months and I think I needed to see other people as excited as I am about food to really jumpstart my cooking (and writing) again!
For this spring roll project, I used the directions and recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction. It appears Sally is a woman after my own heart – she loves to bake, and throws in some healthy stuff from time to time. I’ve included her ingredients list below with some notes based on what I decided to use, but you really should visit the link above for a full explanation on how to make these rolls. I wish I had the patience to document the entire construction process the way she does! One of the best things about summer rolls is how customizable they are. I didn’t use lettuce or cabbage because I wanted to ensure they’ll stay crisp for a couple of days to take them for lunch. But you could easily demolish this entire recipe if you’re nice and hungry for dinner!
Now go forth and cook.
Courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction (and a few notes from me)
Easy Peanut Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce2
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, mashed (or about 1 teaspoon minced – I used the minced stuff in a jar)
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce or a chile garlic sauce, optional for spice (I highly recommend the chile garlic!)
- 1-2 Tablespoons warm water, or more as needed
- optional garnish: crushed peanuts, sprinkle of crushed red pepper
- 10 spring roll rice paper wrappers
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 large cucumber, julienned (use the English cucumber for fewer seeds and thinner peel)
- 1/2 of a large red pepper, julienned (I also mixed in some yellow)
- 1/3 cup chopped purple cabbage
- 1 ounce cooked rice noodles/rice vermicelli (optional)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- handful fresh cilantro (and/or mint, basil – I used all 3!)
- 5 large green lettuce leaves (romaine, butter, etc), torn in half
- 20 medium cooked shrimp, peeled and sliced in half length-wise
- sesame seeds for garnish (optional)