Spring rolls are one of my favorite summer meals. They're light, refreshing and flavorful. Added bonus: you can really put anything in a spring roll making it a perfect "recipe" for CSA season. CSA stands for community supported agriculture, which describes a business model whereby members invest in a farm's season and in return for their financial support against weather and pests - risks inherent in organic farming - get a weekly distribution of fresh produce from the farm. I've been a member of various CSAs throughout my life, but this year I'm getting my veggies from Easy Bean CSA Farm in Milan, MN. It's a summer highlight for me!
Spring rolls are a Vietnamese dish, most often served as an appetizer in the U.S. Because they're somewhat laborious to make, I make a pile of them at a time and serve them as the main entree. What makes a delicious spring roll? Fresh aromatic herbs and a delectable dipping sauce.
Fresh Summertime Spring Rolls
Makes 4 servings
- 1 small beet, shredded
- 2-3 carrots, shredded
- 1-2 green onions, cut into thin strips
- 12 cooked shrimp, halved the long way
- 2 cups shredded napa cabbage
- cilantro, mint and Thai basil sprigs
- 2 oz. brown rice vermicelli noodles
- 8 rice wrappers
- Follow the directions on the box to prepare the rice vermicelli. When done cooking, rinse under cold water to keep the noodles from clumping together.
- Fill a dish or large saucepan with hot water from the tap. There's no need to boil it, but the water does need to be quite warm. Place one rice wrapper at a time in the warm water and allow it to soften. This will take 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the wrapper and lay it evenly on a flat surface. Layer each ingredient in the center of the wrapper, leaving 1-2 inches on either end. Fold over the uncovered sides, then tightly roll the contents into the wrapper like a burrito.
This sauce is not only delicious on spring rolls, but a great sauce for stir-fry or peanut noodles.
Click here for a printable PDF
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter*
- 1 1/2 Tbsp tamari**
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce or 1/4 tsp (or more!) crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fresh grated ginger (or more!)
- hot water to thin
- Mix first 5 ingredients together.
- Add hot water, a little at a time to thin. You want the sauce to be thin enough to dunk your spring roll in, but not too thin that it just drips right off. Err on the side of "too thick."
* Substitute almond or cashew butter if you do not tolerate peanuts.
** Coconut aminos is a great soy-free option.
This recipe reflects the contents of my CSA box. Be creative with yours and see what combinations excite you!
Jesse Haas, CNS, LN is a licensed functional nutritionist and certified health coach. She was a founding partner of Wellness Minneapolis and was an active practitioner with the clinic from 2014-2022. To connect with her regarding functional nutrition and health coaching services, please follow this link.