By Anna Kocharian

Published on April 22, 2016

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

produced & styled by  ANNA KOCHARIAN
photography by  MICHAEL WILTBANK

Summer is approaching quickly, and with all the grilling that comes along with warm weather, we want to be prepared with something on the lighter side. Enter three delectably refreshing takes on the classic summer roll, featuring a varied assortment of unique flavors, colors, and ingredients that will easily upgrade your summer menus. Take a look!

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

rice paper rounds

The key to summer rolls are rice paper rounds – delicate wraps commonly comprised of rice and tapioca flour. You can find them in Asian markets, select grocery stores, or online. The rice paper rounds come dehydrated in form and require soaking before use.

Fill a dish, with a slight lip, with warm water and soak a single rice paper round for 15-20 seconds. Gently remove the hydrated rice paper round onto a flat surface to begin. If at any point the rice paper round rips, gently dab the area with water and layer the two ends together until they stick.

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Photography by MICHAEL WILTBANK

THE TROPICAL SALAD ROLL

This summer-inspired roll highlights the season’s best, coupled with refreshing citrus garnishes and minty accents. Think of it as the healthy dessert you can indulge in all summer long.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 2 kiwis, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium mango, sliced
  • mint leaves
  • passion fruit
  • lemon or lime for garnish
  • ½ cup strawberry ice cream
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DIRECTIONS

Layer the fruit in a single stack, with the fruit you would prefer to be most visible, at the bottom. Play around with various fruit combinations, or throw them all into one roll!

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Before rolling up the rice paper rounds, drizzle the fruit with a citrus of your choice – we paired limes with the kiwi rolls, lemons with the strawberry rolls, and oranges for the mango and mint rolls.

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Take the shorter end of the round and bring it up and over the stacked ingredients. 

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Fold the two ends in and continue rolling until complete.

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Cover the rolls and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Pair with melted strawberry ice for dipping sauce!

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BANH MI

This classic Vietnamese sandwich is known for its unique combinations of bold flavors. Commonly served in a baguette – a tradition derived from Vietnam’s French colonial rule – the typical banh mi sandwich combines items from both French and Vietnamese cuisines. We took a lighter approach to our rolls, opting for a breadless version that tasted just as amazing!

INGREDIENTS

  • chicken satay (chicken strips work too!)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • small handful of cilantro
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • chili pepper, minced or sliced
  • lime for garnish
  • sriracha sauce
  • chili sauce
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DIRECTIONS

Lay out the ingredients in a single stack about ⅓ of the way up the round, with the chicken and the carrots as the base, and the cucumber, cilantro, and the chili on top. 

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Garnish the ingredients with sriracha and lime – to your preference – and roll!

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Refrigerate the rolls for 30 minutes. Pair the banh mi rolls with a side of chili dipping sauce to serve!

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THE VEGGIE ROLL

This vegetarian-friendly combo is refreshing and surprisingly filling. Couple with the spicy chili sauce and consider the days of your sad desk lunch over!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1 cup watercress, or greens of your choice
  • 1 cup red cabbage or a purple endive
  • Lime for garnish
  • Spicy chili sauce
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DIRECTIONS

Lay out the ingredients on the rice paper round with the carrots and cucumbers on the bottom, and the cabbage, greens, and avocado on top. Drizzle with the lime and roll up the round.

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Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pair the rolls with the chili dipping sauce before serving!