Melon Basil Summer Rolls

July 19th, 2013

This post is also available in: French

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Tamarind Dipping Sauce

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.

Tags: basil, cabbage, melon, mint, pesto, recipe, summer rolls, vegan

  • Thanks for a beautiful post—these are some of the most stunning photos I’ve seen in a while! I love summer rolls, they’re the perfect dinner for this kind of heat.

  • These look so refreshing and absolutely gorgeous.

  • These looks awesome! We live of rice paper rolls in our house :-)

  • Stella says:

    You are a culinary genius… Wooooowww…

  • Laura says:

    Love melon with herbs. So intrigued by your tamarind dipping sauce too. We’ve been living on summer rolls (plus smoothies and salads) lately. Can’t wait to try some juicy cantaloupe in the next ones we roll up. So, so beautiful.

  • I m simply awed by all those beautiful pictures. And what an exotic combination- melons and cabbages. Brilliant!

  • That red cabbage steals the show, at least visually. We are absolutely going to steal that idea when we do spring rolls.

  • Amy chaplin says:

    These look like just what I need right now! Love the photos–such gorgeous colors! Yum!

  • Your salad rolls look amazing! I have never thought to add melon and can’t wait to give that a try!

  • Your photos are gorgeous! They looks so summery and delicious. Will definitely be making these :)

  • I love summer rolls and these look amazing. Your photos are stunning as well.

  • Absolutely beautiful post….

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you! Looks awesome!
    In Miami: choices cafe. And coco grove farmers market

  • Elizabeth says:

    Stunning! Love to feast on your lovely photos.
    Peace and Raw Health,

  • What a pretty plate! I love rolls! I bet they are amazing with my vegan fish sauce recipe!

  • Iren says:

    I was totally seduced by the pictures and the colours! How beautiful!!
    Today, I just made them for lunch and – they are divine! They even taste better than they look!!
    I love summer rolls and I had already a few versions of them. I liked them all. But yours are my favorite – the best I ever had – Thanks for that!

    Iren with a full belly, because after eating them all up, I went back to the kitchen and made two more…

  • Average Jane says:

    Beautiful! I’m planning on making them for a party next week.

  • Johanna J says:

    These sound so unbelievably good and summery and looking at them and reading about them makes my mouth water, nom nom nom. I will have to try them!

    I once had a big shock in a vietnamese restaurant when I ordered summer rolls, because I was expecting something warm. Those that day weren’t very good, but I think these could definitely get me on board :)

  • Rita says:

    Well I tried this today and let me tell you. I had a lot of fun making them. I didn’t have any casualties when working with the spring roll wrappers..LOL They were slap yourself in the face GOOD!!! I only made six because I knew there would be a serious problem if I made 15..LOl Thanks so much for sharing this. Im gonna try the veggie burgers next.

  • Unknown says:

    I have made these twice now- I and my freinds I’ve shared them with totally love them!!

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