Nothing against a classic picnic spread of sandwiches and pasta salad, but there are other foods you can load your basket up with that are a bit more unexpected. Case in point: summer spring rolls. You can make them in advance, serve them cold, and they aren’t communal—which in this COVID-19 era is definitely a perk.
In the latest episode of Cook With Us, Chef Palak Patel shows exactly how to make them. What makes her summer spring rolls recipe such a standout is that they’re loaded with protein, fiber, and tons of fresh produce. She makes them with Indian spices and serves them with a peanut chutney for dipping. Oh, and to drink while you nosh? A lemon spritzer that tastes just as refreshing as the crisp summer veggies inside the rolls.
“I love this summer spring roll recipe because it’s got spiced tofu inside, seasonal vegetables, and a beautiful peanut chutney on the side,” Patel says in the video. The protein in the rolls comes from firm tofu, which Patel crumbles and seasons with salt, smoked chili powder, cayenne, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Spring rolls with anti-inflammatory properties? It’s a match made in heaven.
Palak cooks the seasoned tofu on the stove and while it cools, she whips up the peanut chutney. Then comes the other star of the show: the fresh produce. Asparagus, lettuce, carrots, and basil leaves are all tucked inside. When everything is rolled up, the presentation is so colorful and fresh it’s impossible to not want to sink your teeth into one. And no one has to know how easy they were to make.
The lemon spritzer is even simpler to serve up. To make it, Palak uses just three ingredients: vodka (specifically Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions Lemon & Elderflower vodka), seltzer water, and dried lemon. To give your spritzer with a cheery pop of color, garnish with fresh edible flowers.
Get the recipe for both the drink and the summer spring rolls below and watch the video to see exactly how to make them.
Lemon spritz recipe
1.5 oz. Smirnoff Zero Sugar Infusions Lemon & Elderflower vodka
5 oz. seltzer water
1 slice of dried lemon
Optional: flowers, for garnish
1. Pour the vodka and seltzer water into an ice-filled glass and stir.
2. For the lemons: slice and bake in the oven at 450°F until caramelized. Once done, top off your drink with a slice and the flowers (if using). Serve!
Summer spring rolls recipe
For the spring rolls:
1 package extra-firm tofu, crumbled
1 package rice paper
1 shallot, diced
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp smoked chili powder
1 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
1 carrot, julienned
Lettuce or mixed greens
Asparagus, sliced thinly
Fresh basil leaves
For the peanut chutney:
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup water, more as needed
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1. Crumble the firm tofu into a medium-sized bowl using your hands.
2. Add in the spices and mix well with the tofu.
3. Sauté the shallots in a small frying pan on the stove. Add the tofu. One warmed, pour the tofu and shallots mixture onto a plate and let cool.
4. Make the peanut chutney by adding fresh lime juice, peanut butter, honey (or maple syrup), cayenne pepper, and salt to a food processor. Pulse until mixed.
5. Dip the spring roll wrappers into cold water for one minute, until soft. Straighten them out on a plate, filling them with the veggies, fresh basil, and tofu one at a time. Tuck the spring roll wrapper corners to secure. Serve with the peanut chutney and enjoy!
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