Welcome to June! Since summer is a mere 20 days away, let’s dive right in and kick things off with these warm- weather friendly Veggie Summer Rolls, accompanied by this irresistibly delish Peanut Dipping Sauce. Guys, these are light, healthy and most importantly, fun! Get ready to rock and roll (literally, these really do have to be rolled up, lol!!) and celebrate what makes summertime such a special season!
For years, veggie rolls have been a favorite restaurant pick—I never really thought I could successfully recreate them at home and now I’m kicking myself ‘cause other than the time it takes to do the veggie prep, these are actually a snap to make.
Even working with the rice paper wrappers, which I anticipated being challenging, really wasn’t. Just a quick soak in a little warm water and you’re good to go. The trick is to have all your ingredients all ready so that you can fill the softened wrappers right away.
Speaking of fillings, I used red cabbage, carrots, zucchini, red and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, butter lettuce and some broken up spaghetti but the truth is you could sub in or out any veggies or small pasta you prefer or have on hand. These would also be great with radishes, broccoli, scallions, water chestnuts, avocado, snow peas—really only your imagination is the limit!
All you do is mound a selection of the veggies on the softened wrapper and roll up, burrito-style.
And that peanut dipping sauce! Oh! Not only is it super easy to prepare, but killer, killer good! It’s the stuff of my dreams! Seriously!!
Crunchy colorful veggies in a neat little chewy pouch that just begs to be dunked into that amazing peanut sauce—from the way that we gobbled them up, I’m pretty sure I’ll be making these all summer long. One bite and I think you will too!
Makes about 1 dozen rolls
Prep Time for sauce: 10 minutes; Prep Time for Veggies 30 minutes; Assembly Time for rolls: 15 minutes
For the peanut sauce
½ cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2-4 teaspoons Sriracha (use the lower amount if you want less heat)
1 garlic clove, minced
⅓ cup hot water
For the rolls
12 eight inch rice paper wrappers
1 head iceberg or butter lettuce, washed, dried and torn into smallish pieces (you could also use a bag of butter lettuce)
6 ounces dry vermicelli rice noodles or broken spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 small or half a large English cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1. To make the peanut sauce: Add the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of the Sriracha and garlic into a medium bowl. Whisk together well. Now whisk in the hot water until smooth—the sauce should be dippable but not thick and clumpy. If it is, add a little more hot water. Taste and add more Sriracha if you like. You can make this several days ahead and keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
2. To make the summer rolls: Place all of your veggies in small bowls. Add some warm water to a shallow bowl. Dip one rice paper wrapper into it and let it soften for 10-15 seconds. You don’t want it to get soggy, just be pliable, otherwise it can rip. When you remove it from the water, lay it down on a paper towel or clean, non-terrycloth dishtowel to help blot it.
3. Now layer the veggies and noodles on top of the wrapper, piling them into the bottom third of the wrapper. You want somewhere between 2-3 tablespoonfuls of filling—any more than that and it will be hard to roll up. Fold up the end of the rice paper with the filling and then fold in the sides, like you would for a burrito, rolling tightly until all rolled up. The wrapper will sort of stick together and hold everything in. Repeat with remaining wrappers and serve summer rolls with the peanut sauce. If you have any extra ingredients, you can serve them along with the rolls—they are great for dipping into that peanut sauce!
4. You can also make these earlier in the day and keep them loosely covered with a damp paper towel in the fridge until ready to serve.
Note: Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod by Maria Lichty. I tinkered with the peanut sauce, cut the hoisin and increased the soy sauce, used more Sriracha and cut the ginger. I also used different veggies for the rolls. Feel free to make these your own.