Ahhhh! The joys of summer! The sun, the warmth and the fresh produce! I don’t know about you, but my palate goes through a major overhaul in the summer months. I crave tons of salads, veggies and fruit. Cold foods rule on the hottest days of summer. As I write this, I’m realizing that summer is still 3 weeks away! I’m getting a jump start on my warm weather favorites now, with the possibility of 90 degree heat in the next few days:))
I stumbled onto the idea of incorporating beautiful beets into summer rolls on a blog The Minimal Baker. They add such beautiful color and flavor! The best thing about these beauties, is there is NO recipe needed! Honestly! Zero! Just gather a mix your favorite veggies, such as cucumber, bell peppers, carrots, beets…..whatever! The addition of mango gives the rolls a blast of fresh flavor and beautiful color. (I wouldn’t make these, without the mango!) The cilantro and mint are key ingredients as well, although, if you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can probably get away from leaving it out;)
The second best thing about making these rolls, is that they are completely raw! No cooking required! No need to get overheated in your kitchen:)) I use a food processor to shred the carrots and the beets, but the rest of the ingredients can be thinly sliced into strips, using a good knife. To add a bit more flavor and interest, I generally add a teaspoon of seasoned rice vinegar to each of the veggies. This step is unnecessary, but recommended.
The spring rolls are made using sheets of Vietnamese rice papers. Most grocery stores carry them (look in the Asian food section). If you can’t find them, go to an Asian grocery store or purchase on Amazon!
Now the fun begins! To prepare the spring rolls, all you need is a plate with warm water (not HOT)! Place one sheet of rice paper into the water, until the paper gets soft. If you leave it in the water too long, it will fall apart. It might take a couple tries to get the hang of the process;) Be patient and have fun with it!
I place the softened rice paper on a moist cutting board and begin filling it up with my favorite veggie combinations! I love using heirloom varieties of beets and carrots! The colors are amazing! Each spring roll becomes its on work of art! You can fit a lot into these rolls. If you don’t fill them up, there is excess rice paper (not a good thing), so practice make perfect!
Finally, I mixed up a yummy, spicy peanut sauce for dipping. I found this spicy Thai peanut butter at New Seasons Market and decided to incorporate it into the sauce. It’s really tasty and is the ingredients are simple! I mixed 1/4 cup of the peanut butter with 1 TBS of Bragg Liquid Aminos and some water to thin out the sauce a bit.
The rolls will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days, but they are addictive and won’t last that long! Enjoy!!