WRITTEN ON August 17th, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Appetizer, No really, what IS for lunch?, Salads, Side Dish, Vegetarian

It’s one of those days that can only be described as a scorcher. A fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk, sweatin’ like a whore in church kind of day. A day when you feel sorry for dogs and cats and really hairy people everywhere.  A day when all you want to do is sit in your underwear in front of a fan, and maybe stick your head in the freezer every couple of minutes. The last thing I want to do on a day like this is cook…but hey, a girl’s gotta eat, right?  Enter veggie summer rolls.  They’re light and fresh and cool.  The best part? No heat is used in the process pf putting them together.  Just thinly sliced veggies, fresh herbs, and spring roll skins.  If you can find shiso, try it instead of the cilantro. Be sure to handle the skins carefully; they break easily.  Have some leftover chicken or pork?  Shred it up and  use it as a filler as well, for added protein, or grill up some shrimp (if you dare) to complete the meal.

Rollin' in it

Rollin' in it

Veggie Summer Rolls (serves 2)
6 large spring roll wrappers
6 leaves bibb or Boston lettuce, washed and vein removed
1 medium sized carrot, cut into very thin matchsticks (julienne)
½ red bell pepper, sliced into strips the same size as the carrot
2 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated (reserve whites for sauce)
1 handful cilantro
1 handful mint
Hoisin sauce
Fill a 9 inch round pie dish with water. Place one spring roll wrapper into the water for about 10 seconds.  Remove and lay flat on a kitchen towel (not terrycloth).  Layer one leaf of lettuce on top of spring roll wrapper, just left of center.  Spread a small spoonful of hoisin sauce onto the lettuce leaf, then layer a few carrot sticks, pepper sticks, sliced scallion greens, and two leaves each of cilantro and mint.  Fold sides together, and then delicately roll, starting from the left, and pulling tighter as you roll (just as you would a burrito). Move to a plate, repeat with remaining ingredients until you have 6 rolls.  Cover with a damp paper towel, chill about 30 minutes in fridge.  Slice in half on a bias and serve with sauce.
Herb Dipping Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 tsp mint, finely chopped
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Combine all ingredients with the scallion whites and serve immediately with summer rolls.

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