Summer rolls are traditionally made from rice paper, though you can get low carb ones made with lettuce. Whatever is used to wrap them, they usually contain some colourful veggies, fish, meat, or tofu, and either rice or vermicelli noodles. Unlike spring rolls, they aren’t fried- and so have a fresher, lighter feel that is perfect for summer. As I live somewhere where rice paper isn’t readily available, I went with the lettuce. You can, of course, switch it up and sub in rice paper if you can get hold of it. Once I get back to my beloved Newcastle, I shall be hot-footing it down to my local Asian supermarket to get hold of some. But you don’t have to wait for that to enjoy these summer rolls…
These are packed with carrot, cucumber, beetroot, tofu, and quinoa- then dipped in a creamy, spicy, peanut dip. You have so many fresh and beautiful flavours and textures in here, that I am sure you will enjoy them whatever they are wrapped in. You can also swap out these veggies for whatever else you have in- beansprouts, bell pepper, fresh chilli, mushrooms, or spring onions would all be amazing. So, lets get to the recipe…
For the rolls…
- 1 cooked beetroot, fairly large
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/4 cucumber
- 100g firm tofu
- 4 large lettuce leaves, as intact as you can manage
- 15g dried quinoa
- 1tbsp smooth peanut butter (I use Meridian)
- 1tsp soy sauce
- Pinch of black pepper, and chilli flakes to taste
- Freshly boiled water
- First step: pour 120ml freshly boiled water into a pan, and add in the quinoa. Allow the water to come to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, keeping an eye on how much water has evaporated from the pan, so that you can add a splash more if the quinoa begins to stick. Once cooked, set to one side and allow to cool for 10 minutes at least.
- Now grab the beetroot, the cucumber, the carrot, and the tofu. Take a sharp knife and finely slice the veggies, before setting to one side. Take up your tofu, and chop into larger chunks; set to one side.
- Take one lettuce leaf (or rice paper sheet). Lay the carrot shreds, the beetroot, and the cucumber vertically along one side of the leaf, an inch or two from the edge- and then place the tofu in there as well. Finally, add in 1/4 of the quinoa.
- Now comes the tricky bit: you need to roll this up. My preferred method was to fold in the bottom and the top of the leaf, and then roll from the side I had piled up my fillings, all the way to the other end. I cannot emphasise enough that you need to roll these tightly. Repeat with the other three leaves, and then plate them up. I cut each in half so that I could see the wonderful colours inside.
- For the sauce, combine the peanut butter and soy sauce, whisking thoroughly, and then add in a little boiled water at a time, to give a looser consistency. Add the pepper and chilli, stir, and plate up alongside those rolls…