Summer rolls are required warm-weather eats, as they are a vehicle for the rainbow of summer produce that August delivers. Skip the standard shrimp and lettuce filling for a spectrum of colorful fruit and vegetable fillings. Here are 10 of our favorite fresh takes, from red ripe strawberries to beautiful blackberries.
Summer rolls require a little bit of practice to master, but the principles are simple. Slice and dice some vegetables (or fruits), cook a simple protein — shrimp, chicken, and tofu are ideal — and wrap the filling inside fresh lettuce or herbs to hold things together. Wrap the whole bundle in softened rice paper rounds and serve with a sweet or savory dip.
Once you have those basics down, let's color outside the lines, shall we?
Master Summer Rolls: How To Make Summer Rolls
Layer thinly sliced strawberries with baby spinach and feta cheese. Serve with poppy seed dressing for the summer-roll version of classic strawberry salad.
Thinly slice ripe tomatoes and layer them with cooked bacon and butter lettuce and serve with a creamy herbed dressing. You can also add whole cherry tomatoes inside the lettuce bundle for more tomato pop.
3. Mandarin Orange Slices
This is a stunning use of canned mandarin oranges. Use shredded red and green cabbage in addition to the traditional rice noodles and dip in a savory soy, sesame, and ginger dressing.
Ripe summer peaches deserve a more savory spotlight. Pair them in a summer roll with basil and leftover grilled shrimp wrapped with Bibb lettuce. Serve with tangy barbecue sauce for dipping.
5. Golden Beets
Slice golden beets paper-thin on a mandoline and pair them with seared tofu and chopped cashews, rolled inside the lettuce bundle. Serve with a classic peanut sauce for dipping.
6. Yellow squash ribbons
Here's a double yellow combination: thinly sliced yellow squash and julienned yellow peppers. Keep the rest of the filling on the classic side with rice noodles, and butter lettuce, but serve with a hearty cashew sauce.
7. Kiwi and Avocado
The combination of kiwi and avocado is intriguing, so keep the other fillings simple. A bigger bundle of rice noodles and some fresh herbs will let this fruity combination shine. Try dipping these in a yogurt sauce.
8. Blackberry and Mango
Fill these blackberry and mango summer rolls with mint and plain rice noodles and they can easily double as dessert. A drizzle of honey on these will sweeten them and eliminate the need for dip.
What is your favorite way to fill a summer roll?