First of all, if there is a significant difference between spring and summer rolls, I'm sorry. Some sources say that they're the same and others note that spring rolls are fried and summer rolls are not. There is no consistency and I'm not one to make the call. I'm more accustomed to "spring rolls" so I'm sticking with that.
Learning to make spring rolls at home is probably one of the most useful things I have gleaned from Pinterest. The best part is that whether or not you made any food-related New Year's Resolutions, these are super healthy and will keep you from breaking the bank. Also, they're a welcome retreat from salad drudgery.
Whip up a batch of these rolls quickly with whatever lettuces and other veggies you have on hand, and be sure to make plenty as they go quickly. Even little hands can't resist these, especially when paired with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce.
This Cucumber and Avocado Summer Roll recipe originally comes from Williams Sonoma. According to their website, it's been repinned over 330,000 times. I wonder how many people have actually made them?
Anyway, while these are easily adaptable to whatever fresh ingredients you might have on hand, the combination here suits my tastes perfectly. What I did not like however, was the Mustard-Soy dipping sauce. First of all, it looked nothing like the one in the pin. The photo appears to include red pepper flakes in the sauce, but it's nowhere in the recipe... which bring us to the second issue, it was simply too plain. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the sweet and spicy red stuff? But you don't have to take my word for it! Try it out and see what you think...
Juice from 1/2 lime 2 tablespoons rice bran or canola oil 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce 1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 Haas avocados 20 rice paper rounds, 6 or 8 inches in diameter 10 green lettuce leaves Leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil Leaves from 1 bunch fresh mint 2 carrots, coarsely shredded 1/2 English cucumber, cut into thin strips
In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce and brown sugar until the sugar dissolves; set aside.
Halve, pit and peel the avocados, and then cut them into 1/2-inch dice.
Place a wide, shallow bowl of warm water on a work surface. Lay a clean kitchen towel next to the bowl. Dip 1 rice paper round into the water for a few seconds to soften, then lay it flat on the towel. Dip a second round into the water and lay it directly on top of the first one. Using another towel, pat the top of the rice paper dry.
(I just used a plate, instead of towels)
Center a lettuce leaf on top of the stacked rice papers. Starting about one-third in from the edge closest to you, arrange a few of the basil and mint leaves in a line across the lettuce. Top with a small row each of the carrot, cucumber and avocado; be careful not to overstuff the roll. Lift the bottom edge of the rice paper up and over the filling and then roll once to form a tight cylinder. Fold in the sides of the rice paper and continue to roll the paper and filling into a tight cylinder. Set aside, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rice paper and filling ingredients to make 10 rolls.
Cut each roll in half crosswise and arrange, cut side up, on a platter. Place the sauce alongside for dipping and serve immediately. Makes 20 rolls; serves 8 to 10.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.