Summer Rolls

August  1, 2013

Vegan lunches can -- and should -- be a lot more interesting than bare salads or carrot sticks and hummus. New Veganism columnist Gena Hamshaw will be sharing inspiration for midday meals that stave off both hunger and boredom.

Today: Gena wraps up everything she loves about summer into light and refreshing rolls.  

Summer Rolls from Food52

Shop the Story

There’s a long list of dishes I love to eat in restaurants, but never seem to prepare at home. Injera. Perfect green curry. (Vegan) pastry. I like to think I have an excuse for steering clear of these dishes, which is that the folks who make them have usually spent years perfecting their craft. My attempts will never be quite as great as the “real” thing. 

But summer rolls? I have no excuse for summer rolls.

Summer rolls are one of the first dishes I order in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. I adore them, but I never seem to make them on my own, which is ridiculous, given how easy they are to prepare. This week, when I found a package of brown rice paper rollers at my local health food store, I finally took the plunge. It was, of course, as easy as can be -- not unlike rolling collard leaf wraps

More: Complete your Asian-inspired meal with vegan Pad Thai.

I stuffed these rolls with cucumber, carrot, strips of extra-firm tofu, and fresh basil from my ever-proliferating basil plant. I served them with a sauce of almond butter, ginger, sesame oil, and tamari. Paired with fresh greens, it made for a light and refreshing summer lunch. 

Photo by Gena Hamshaw 

What are your favorite fillings for summer rolls? Let us know in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • halfandhalf
  • smitty
  • HalfPint
  • Kitchen Butterfly
    Kitchen Butterfly
  • moonsoar
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


halfandhalf August 2, 2013
I like having roll parties in the summer when it's too hot to cook, just put out a bunch of stuff and let everyone make their own rolls. It's also nice to do fruit rolls with ice cream or gelato for dessert.
smitty August 2, 2013
Try this. Trust me. Mango, arugula, mint, rice noodles.
Gena H. August 3, 2013
I'm going to, smitty!
HalfPint August 1, 2013
Shredded green papaya, carrots, jicama, and rice noodles. Of course with basil or mint.
Gena H. August 3, 2013
Yum :)
Kitchen B. August 1, 2013
Veggies with LOTS of cilantro and mint!
moonsoar August 1, 2013
Yum! My favourite summer rolls are full of mango, avocado, cucumber and mint.
Marian B. August 1, 2013
I love this combination! So summery.
Gena H. August 1, 2013
Anything with mango and avocado is a winner in my book!