Vegetarian Summer Rolls

These cool Vietnamese summer rolls are filled with rice noodles, avocado, carrots, and cucumber. Enjoy them as an appetizer or light summer main course.

  • Yield: Makes 8

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2010

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into matchsticks (3/4 cup)

Directions

  1. Pour boiling water over vermicelli rice noodles and soak 15 minutes. Drain and rinse. Divide into 8 equal portions. Fill a wide, shallow bowl with cool water. Working with one spring-roll wrapper at a time, soak until pliable, 20 seconds. Transfer to a flat surface and smooth.

  2. Place a layer of fillings on bottom third of wrapper, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Top with a portion of noodles and another layer of fillings.

  3. Fold bottom of wrapper tightly over fillings.

  4. Roll over once, tuck in sides, and finish rolling. If desired, add 3 fresh chives and continue rolling to enclose them. Transfer roll to a plate and cover with a slightly damp paper towel. Repeat to make 8 summer rolls. Serve immediately with dipping sauces, or refrigerate, up to 2 hours.

Variations

Shrimp and Mint Summer Rolls: 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, cooked, then halved lengthwise; 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves; 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (1 1/2 cups); 1 bunch chives. Chicken and Mango Summer Rolls: 4 ounces chicken cutlets, cooked and shredded; 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves; 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (1 1/2 cups); 1 small ripe mango, peeled and thinly sliced.

Cook's Notes

Firm vermicelli rice noodles are commonly added to summer rolls, but rolls can be made without them. Experiment with different fresh fillings and flavor combinations.

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