Now that summer is officially here, what better way to celebrate then with a summer roll! When the heat is at its peak, the last thing I ever want to do in my NYC kitchen is turn on the oven. Chilled wine and raw or slightly heat-kissed veggies are my recipe for summertime success. Summer rolls are nothing new, but they serve as the perfect vehicle to eat the rainbow, to get in your veggies, and can be a fun and interactive food to make with a buddy or a child.
The options are truly endless for which ingredients to fill your roll. I have seen grilled shrimp, poached chicken as well as rice noodles in addition to veggies. My advice is as long as you keep it colorful and crunchy, you can't go wrong. For the dipping sauce, which could also be used to coat soba or spiralized vegetables, I created an addictive spicy peanut ginger sauce, which will encourage you to double dip.
Wrap it up and get your crunch on. This summer roll is guaranteed to help you beat that summer heat!
Summer Rolls + Chili Peanut Sauce
- 8 6-inch round rice paper wrappers - if you can, brown rice paper is ideal.
- 8 lettuce leaves, washed, dried and torn or chopped, I like baby romaine
- 1 cup carrots, julienned
- 1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cucumber, peeled, if desired, julienned
- 1 cup, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, julienned
- 2 avocados, thinly sliced, squirt with a little lime juice to maintain color
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves
for the sauce:
- 1/4 cup all natural creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 tsp red chili pepper, minced
- 1 tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 2 tbsps water
- 1 tbsp low sodium tamari
- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
- Prep all of your roll ingredients and arrange your vegetables on a plate for ease of assembly.
- To prep your rice paper, dip one sheet of rice paper a third of the way into a bowl of warm water for about 2 seconds. Flip and dip the remaining section. Place on a damp towel.
- Working on the bottom third of the rice paper, spread a bit of lettuce, avocado, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, herbs, and bell pepper. Fold up the bottom edge to cover the filling, then fold in the sides. Roll tightly. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and ingredients.
- Combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, tamari, chili pepper, ginger, garlic, and brown rice vinegar in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add additional water, if needed to thin. Taste, adjust the vinegar, tamari, or lime juice, if needed and pour into a bowl.
- Serve the summer rolls right away, or refrigerate, lightly covered, up to 2 hours. If left overnight, the wrapper may become hard and avocado will brown. Cut each roll in half and serve with peanut dipping sauce and additional lime wedges.