Summer is great isn't it? I mean, all that sun, late dinners on the porch, tomatoes. Sure, you're constantly dripping sweat, you can't find anything to wear because all you own are cardigans and black jeans and you keep buying butternut squash even though you know it just doesn't feel right. You are pinning cool ways to decorate your mantle with branches and pine cones and you know exactly how many days there are until Christmas Eve. Oh, by you, I definitely mean me. Don't get me wrong, there are certainly some endearing qualities of the season like al fresco dinners, pool parties and popsicles. I just think summer and I would probably get along a lot better if it wasn't so darn hot all the time and the sun decided to hide itself every once in a while. Just a little break, tiny really. After all, California has had so much sun this year (and so little rain) that the lakes and reservoirs are just about dried up. I'm hoping and praying for a long and wet winter. Wouldn't that just be absolutely glorious? We'll make soup and crusty bread and we'll sit by the fire, sipping tea in our oversized sweaters. Guys, it's gonna be amazing.
There are still 19 days left of summer, so in the meantime, I promise I'll refrain from complaining about the fact that it's STILL summer and move that we pull it together and really take advantage and live it up. Let's boycott the oven, get outside and eat as many tomatoes as we can fit in our mouths. I'll stop pinning pumpkin recipes and hearty soups and really try to enjoy the moment and I won't even think about how many more days are left before I can legitimately start listening to Christmas music. Let's hit the pool, eat dinner outside until the sun is gone and make popsicles. Alright, that's the pep talk I needed. Thanks guys. Let's do this.
As our first act of living it up, let's make summer rolls. I mean, it's in the name. So perfect, right? Summer rolls are a great dish for using up leftovers from the week. We nearly always have baked tofu around to use as a quick toddler snack or to bulk up salads and scrambles. It works perfectly here and since it was already in the fridge, it was super simple to throw these together. If you don't want to use the baked tofu option for these (which would require some oven action, but totally worth it), you can substitute about 3 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken or quickly grilled shrimp would be pretty great as well. I'd plan for two shrimp per roll if you go that route.
tofu summer rolls
- 10 rice paper wrappers (it's a good idea to soak a couple extra since it's easy to tear them)
- 4 green onion, white and light green parts only, split lengthwise, then sliced lengthwise again
- 3 oz cellophane noodles
- 1 cup pickled vegetables (alternatively, you can use regular carrot and daikon, julienned)
- 16 sprigs cilantro
- 16 large basil leaves
- 2 cups mixed greens
24 baked tofu sticks, or 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons honey
juice of one lime
1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
- Cover the cellophane noodles with hot water and let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain them in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Combine the soy sauce, fish sauce, honey, lime juice and garlic chili paste in a small bowl. Set aside.
- On a large plate or a baking dish, soak the rice paper wrappers in warm water until soft and pliable, just a few minutes.
- Carefully separate a rice paper wrapper and place it on a plate. In the middle of the wrapper, add three sticks of tofu, a small handful of pickled vegetables, a small handful of cellophane noodles, two sprigs of cilantro, two basil leaves and a small handful of mixed greens. Roll one side of the wrapper toward the middle, tuck the top and bottom over the top and continue rolling until you meet the other side. Slice in half, dip it in the sauce and enjoy.