CEiMB: Two Types of Rolls

Happy Earth Day! Are you doing anything to celebrate? I’m going meatless for the day which is perfect timing for this post! This week’s CEiMB post is going to be a bit different – I am posting two recipes, and both are vegetarian! First up is this week’s pick, Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce, and then I’m getting caught up by posting last week’s Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese. I went to a cookout this past weekend, and these appetizers were my contribution to the spread. It was a gorgeous spring day for grilling, and these recipes sounded like they would pair perfectly with kebabs.

Ryan and I made the summer rolls on Saturday night so there would be less for us to do on Sunday morning. I should say, we *tried* to make the summer rolls on Saturday night. Those of you who follow me on Twitter already know that I posted about this week’s recipe being a FAIL. I was so excited to make these, but it just wasn’t working out. I’m not sure if the rice paper rounds I found are not the right size or product or what, but the amount of stuffing Ellie recommends was not fitting in the round. Even when I halved the ingredients, the rolls just tore apart, and this was all without the shrimp which I decided to omit to keep it vegetarian-friendly. We managed to get one made for photographic purposes, but I ended up serving the rest as a deconstructed salad. We taste tested the roll we made but without the dressing, it was bland. I actually spit mine out :( I think I would have liked these a lot better if the veggies had been blanched or softened in some way. I just didn’t find the flavors to be cohesive. As a salad, it was too vinegary for me, but a hit for others.

Soft Asian Summer Rolls with Sweet and Savory Dipping Sauce
For the summer rolls:
2 ounces rice noodles
6 rice paper rounds
12 fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1/2 cup shredded carrot
12 whole large fresh mint leaves, rinsed and dried
3 green-leaf lettuce leaves, leaves, spines removed, leaving 6 halves
Vinegar dipping sauce, recipe follows

Bring water to a boil and cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and cool (makes about 2 cups).

Line up ingredients in small bowls before beginning to make rolls. Fill a large bowl or saucepan with very warm water. Place a rice paper round in the hot water. Soak for between 30 seconds and 1 minute, or until rice round is pliable and pattern on the round is barely visible. Remove and place on a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel.

Place 2 basil leaves on the inner edge of the rice round, about 1-inch from the edge and leaving about 1-inch on each side. Top with approximately 1/4 cup cooked rice noodles. Top with about 2 tablespoons carrots, then 2 leaves of mint. Fold 1 piece of lettuce leaf and place on top of pile. Bring the edge over filling and tuck underneath. As you continue to roll, fold in the sides. Finish rolling, repeat with the other rolls, and reserve under a damp cloth or paper towel. When ready to serve, slice in half and serve, cut ends up, with dipping sauce.

Vinegar Dipping Sauce:
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons warm water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon finely shredded carrot
1 scallion, thinly sliced

Dissolve sugar in warm water, combine with other ingredients, and chill until ready to use.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 56

On Sunday, I threw the sliced zucchini on the grill before the meat went down and assembled the zucchini rolls before we sat down to eat. I used Laughing Cow cheese wedges in place of goat cheese because I am not a fan of the sour-ish taste goat cheese has. After reading the reviews from last week, I knew to try to serve these warm instead of chilled, but I found that they cooled too quickly. Before I was done assembling the rolls, they were getting cold. These got mixed reviews, just like the salad. I thought they were OK though not something I would make again. Just like with the summer rolls, I just didn’t find all the flavors to meld together well, though I did prefer these over the others.

Grilled Zucchini Rolls with Herbs and Cheese
3 zucchini (about 1/2 pound each), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
2 wedges Laughing Cow cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup basil leaves

Discard the outermost slices of zucchini. Place on a preheated grill or grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side, or until tender.

In a small bowl combine the cheese and lemon juice, mashing with a fork.

Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about 1/2-inch from the end of a zucchini slice. Top with a few spinach leaves and 1 small, or half of a large basil leaf. Roll up and place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini slices.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”, p. 48


April 22, 2010. recipes.


  1. Kayte replied:

    They both look great! Hmmm on the wrappers tearing…not sure what sizes they come in as I can only get them in one size here. Mine worked fine, and I added extra shrimp, b/c let’s face it, I cook for GUYS and one shrimp isn’t going to cut it around here. Maybe the wrappers got too wet as I have noticed when I do that, they do tear easily. The more you make summer rolls, the more you realize when it is “done” sitting in the water…sort of before you feel it is done as it continues to soften. I also do them on a kitchen towel that I save for that purpose and that soaks up some of the excess water that drips. Hope that helps…yours look wonderful. Laughing Cow cheese always makes me want to laugh just seeing the name.

  2. Joanne replied:

    Too bad about the spring rolls. I found that when I wet the wrapper (course I used soy wrappers instead of rice)they fell apart. I simply took a wet finger and spread it over the wrapper. That worked better.
    As for the taste, I thought it was really unique with the mint and basil – refreshing.

    The zucchini rolls turned out good. Not a huge hit, but okay.

  3. Liz replied:

    I couldn’t find rice paper rounds so I served it as a reconstructed salad as well. It was a bit heavy on the vinegar but I thought it was great served this way! Nice picture!

  4. Allison replied:

    I’m impressed that you are even trying to get caught up on all the CEiMB recipes, you make everything look great, even if you don’t think it tasted that great! I have been so bad lately on posting on Thursdays! I know exactly what are talking about when it comes to ruffles, they are so fun and a less girly/more classy way to dress up an outfit!

  5. Brianne replied:

    Well, even if these two recipes didn’t work out exactly like you wanted, they sure did look pretty! I totally hear you about the zucchini rolls, although I did really enjoy the summer rolls. Maybe next week will be a success!

  6. Elina replied:

    Hmm, I didn’t end up making the summer rolls last night but I was planning on attempting them at lunch today. Not worth it, huh? I kind of had my reservations already but I have all the ingredients and all. What to do, what to do… :)

  7. teaandscones replied:

    Good on you to catch up with the recipes. I need to do that. usually don’t make cause I cannot find all the important ingredients.

    Both rolls look great. I found the rice wrappers in the aisle with the ethic foods. Not refrigerated like I thought.

  8. Better late than never replied:

    […] a short ingredients list. Furthermore, right before heading home to make these for lunch, I read Liz’s less-than stellar review of these and got scared even more. I am happy to say everything went without a […]

  9. teresa replied:

    bummer! i’m sorry they didn’t work out, but they sure look beautiful!

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