July 19th, 2013
This post is also available in: French
We’ ve been traveling quite a bit for the past couple of weeks, mostly within Florida. One of the beautiful places we stayed at was a woodsy campground on Rainbow river, and there will be a post about it soon. Last night we came home, repacked and now we’re back on the road, heading south to Miami.
As much as I love traveling, it’s always challenging to eat well on the road. These rolls are an easy and refreshing solution for summer travel.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’ve noticed that the world is divided into those who love watermelon and those who prefer all other melons to it. I definitely belong to the first group and will pick juicy sweet watermelon any time of day. Occasionally though, I’ll run into a honeydew or cantaloupe that is so irresistibly delicious that I’ll forget about my unconditional love for watermelon.
A good melon tastes particularly amazing when framed by the flavor of fragrant herbs like basil and mint. Add the crunch and beautiful colour of purple cabbage and carrots, almond pesto and sweet and spicy dipping sauce, and you’ll get just about the perfect summer meal.
Melon Basil Summer Rolls
(makes about 15 rolls)
about 15 rice paper wrappers
spicy cilantro almond pesto
about 1/2 purple cabbage – thinly sliced
1/4 – 1/2 ripe sweet melon such as Honeydew
2-3 medium carrots – finely shredded
2 cups fresh basil leaves
large handful fresh mint leaves – optional
1. Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds, peel and slice the flesh into strips.
2. Prepare a large bowl of warm water and a working area covered with a damp dish towel. Start dipping your wrappers in the water, one at a time, for a minute or so, until it begins to soften. Don’t keep the wrapper in the water too long to prevent tearing.
3. Place each wrapper on a damp dish towel (one at a time) and begin to fill it. Spread about 1 teaspoon of pesto in the middle of the wrapper, followed by cabbage, 1-2 melon strips, carrots and herbs.
4. Fold the bottom part of the wrapper over the filling, followed by the sides, then roll it tightly.
5. Serve right away with the sauce or keep covered with a damp dish or paper towel until ready to serve. These rolls are best when eaten within a day or two.
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup tamarind paste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 small red chili – seeded and minced (optional)
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the ingredients thoroughly. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.