summer dreamin’ January 29, 2007


"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."- Albert Camus

I’ve come to a painful realization: my transformation from thick-skinned Yankee to warm-blooded Southerner is complete. There was a time – in a galaxy far, far away – that I used to relish the cold weather. Who needs a parka!?! I’m from Chicago, pansy boy.

Those days, friends, are officially over. I sit at my desk – shivering unless the heat is turned up to 70 – staring at photos from the previous June of my blue toenails in my favorite sandals. Daydreaming of drinking wine on a patio somewhere with my partners in crime. Hell, I’m even looking forward to running the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th if it means I don’t have to run when its TWENTY degrees out.

I’ve also been craving lighter food. I think its my lust for warmer weather mixed with trying to eat healthier, in general. Half of my meals since the beginning of the year have included sushi or Asian food of some variety. I dreamed up these summer rolls lying in bed wearing socks, jammies, a hat, and two cats on either side of me for insulation. The flavor combo is dynamite – I may be ruined for summer rolls any other way now. I do encourage you, however, to make up your own recipe and sit back and dream of warm, streaming sunshine.

Smoked Salmon Summer Rolls – makes 6

For the spring rolls:

  • 1 4 ounce package of smoked salmon
  • 6 rice paper summer roll wrappers 
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 bunch watercress, washed and dried
  • 1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices
  • cilantro sprouts, to taste (regular cilantro would be just fine here, too)
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • prepared wasabi, to taste

For dipping sauce: sweet chili dipping sauce diluted with rice wine vinegar – a 70/30 mixture or to taste.

– In a small bowl, combine creme fraiche and wasabi until completely blended through. I put mine in a squeeze bottle for easy saucing, but if you want to just spread it thats fine, too. Set aside.

– In a shallow baking dish, fill with enough warm water to submerge wrappers. Hydrate wrappers one at a time and, once pliable, lay on a piece of paper towel and press excess water off with another layer of paper town.

– Dividing the smoked salmon into 6 equal portions, lay it down on the wrapper. Top with other ingredients to your liking. Squeeze wasabi creme fraiche on top and quickly roll it up. Take the ends and fold them in and then roll one side over the ingredients and continue rolling until its tightly bound up – this motion was very much the same was making sushi.

– To serve, cut each roll on the diagonal into two pieces. Summer rolls may be made up to 6 hours ahead and chilled, wrapped in dampened paper towels in a sealed plastic bag.
Bring rolls to room temperature before halving and serving.

***Editors Note: You’re not imagining things. My font size is all jacked up. Typepad is being a pain in the !$@ and I’ll try to fix it later ***


Catherine Jan 29, 2007 08:01 pm

the Camus quotes is one of my favorite quotes.
oddly, I’ve been craving salads – wishful thinking?

joey Jan 30, 2007 06:01 am

This looks so yummy! I wish I could send some of our warmth and sunshine you way! :)

Amber Jan 30, 2007 06:01 am

These look sooooo good!

Brilynn Jan 30, 2007 07:01 am

Beautiful pic! I love spring rolls.

barbara Jan 31, 2007 01:01 am

I love rice paper rolls. I might make some for lunch tomorrow.

deb Jan 31, 2007 07:01 pm

i’ve been thinking about how to lose the extra “layers” i’ve put on these past few months. this looks like a good start. and i ought to try to do something with that new jumprope i bought….

Ellie Feb 1, 2007 01:02 am

Ahh, I love rice paper rolls! These look gorgeous!

Homesick Texan Feb 1, 2007 07:02 am

I like lighter fare sometimes in the winter as well. Everything else is so dark and heavy–my clothes, the air, the light–that lighter food is the perfect cure for the cold-weather blahs.

Freya Feb 1, 2007 10:02 am

We need to find our sunshine where we can!

valentina Feb 2, 2007 12:02 pm

I love the fact that there is salmon and wasabi in your rolls. It looks so summery,shouting hot and sunny days.

a. Feb 2, 2007 04:02 pm

ahhh…i so crave something like this right now after gorging myself with all the pastries. i wonder what “watercress” is in french? btw, i’m new to your site! i found you via tastespotting. love your photos!