vietnamese summer rolls with almond sauce


One of my greatest pleasures in life is receiving Vegetarian Times magazine in the mail each month.  I’ve been a subscriber for over 7 years.  I love it when recipes require that I go out and purchase unusual ingredients.  This recipe turned out to be absolutely delicious.  I used basil that I grew, green leaf lettuce that arrived in my CSA basket, a couple nectarines, and I bought some Vietnamese rice paper wrappers from the Value Market in the Iroquois Shopping Center (which happens to be a really unusual large grocery store that stocks a ton of ethnic foods.) 

Nectarine and Basil Summer Rolls with Almond Sauce

2 tbs. almond butter

1 tbs. brown rice vinegar

1 tsp. maple syrup

1 tsp. soy sauce

8 8.5 in diameter rice paper wrappers

12 medium basil leaves

2 small nectarines, cut into 12 slices

1 small avocado, cut into 12 long slices

1 cup watercress (I used green leaf lettuce instead)

1. Whisk together almond butter, vinegar, maple syrup, soy sauce, and 1 tbsp. warm water in bowl.

2. Set up your work space: fill a pan of warm water.  Lay a damp towel next to the pan.  Get another towel and put it within reach.

3. Submerge 2 rice papers, one on top of the other, in water. Press together and let soften, 1 minute.

4. Remove wrappers from water, and lay on towel; Fold wrapper edge over 1 inch on right side.

5. Lay 3 basil leaves on bottom edge of wrapper, parallel to counter edge, leaving 2 inches from left edge and 1 inch from bottom uncovered.  Top with 6 nectarine slices, 3 avocado slices, and 1/4 cup of watercress or lettuce leaves.

6. Roll up bottom of wrapper and tuck unfolded left edge over.  Countinue to roll until you have a tight cylinder.  Serve summer rolls with almond dipping sauce. 

It took me a couple tries to get the wrapping technique down.  This recipe was so easy and so good, it makes me want to experiment with using other summer fruits and vegetables to make summer rolls. Also, when you are looking for the rice paper, make sure to get the dried out kind and not the egg roll wrappers that are generally sold at Kroger.  Those won’t work for this recipe!


2 Responses to “vietnamese summer rolls with almond sauce”

  1. June 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I’ve been making gỏi cuốn for a few years now, and when you get good at them, they’re a quick and fun crowd-pleaser. I’m curious to try your unusual variation here: I’ve always used rice vermicelli, mint, and lettuce as the filling, with, as the spirit strikes, some combination of carrot, scallions, cucumber, thin-slicked pork, shredded pork skin, and shrimp. These seem like they’d be a bit floppy without the vermicelli to give them bulk — how do they hold up?

    A couple other comments: you can make a tasty and quick spicy peanut sauce with massaman curry paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut milk (choosing proportions as desired for more creaminess, more spiciness, etc.). Also, there are a variety of rice-paper wrappers out there: I’ve found that the ones marked with “banh trang deo” or “extra thin” are more pleasingly light (Double Parrot brand is generally satisfactory).

  2. 2 aprettypickle
    June 11, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Thanks for the tips! This is the first time I’ve tried these and they didn’t seem too floppy- they held up quite well! The nectrine and basil combo were really tasty and using almond butter rather than peanut butter was different. the curry paste you mentioned sounds cool.

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