This post is inspired by all of the fresh herbs that we have growing on our little deck. We have a ton of basil and some very fragrant Thai basil, among other plants like Thai chiles, tomatoes, peppers, and even figs. We’re very proud of our little plant escape, and when I say “we” I mean that I’m very proud that Jack has been lovingly watering everything up to twice a day to keep it all going. This might be the longest that we’ve actually kept plants alive.
Since I know many of you also have lots of basil at this time of year, I made these fresh summer rolls with a creamy coconut basil dipping sauce. It’s the kind of sauce that I would normally make with cilantro, but the sweet basil flavor is so fresh and unexpected.
For the filling, I gathered the usual suspects – avocado, cucumber, tofu, and noodles. I felt like it needed a little more, so I thought what I often think in the summer – “peaches!” Peaches and basil are a tasty pairing and, in my opinion, it’s the season to throw peach slices on everything.
Summer rolls can be difficult to wrap (for me, at least), but I have one tip: get these 12-inch wrappers, they’re so much easier to work with than the 8-inch wrappers that I usually get. I have a tendency of wanting to overstuff my rolls, and the larger wrappers are easier to handle.
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ¼ cup basil
- 1 tablespoon cashew butter
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 thai chiles, ¼ jalapeño pepper, or ½ teaspoon sriracha, more as desired*
- ½ clove garlic
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 6 spring roll rice wrappers (these 12-inch ones are best)
- 4 ounces cooked rice noodles (I used these)
- 4 ounces extra-firm tofu, sliced into strips***
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 2 ripe peaches, sliced
- ½ watermelon radish, very thinly sliced, optional
- Fresh herbs: basil, Thai basil and/or mint
- Pinches of sesame seeds
- Tamari and sriracha, optional for serving
- Make the basil coconut sauce: In a food processor, combine the coconut milk, basil, cashew butter, lime juice, chiles, garlic, ginger, and salt. Pulse until well combined. Season to taste.
- Assemble the summer rolls: Fill a shallow glass baking dish with 1-inch of warm water. Submerge one rice paper in the warm water for 7 seconds and then lay the softened wrapper on a clean, damp kitchen towel. Place desired fillings into the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom of the wrapper over the filling and gently tuck the filling under the wrapper. Fold the sides over the filling. Then continue rolling and tucking the rice paper to form a summer roll. Repeat with the remaining rice papers.
- Serve with the Basil Coconut Sauce for dipping. Serve with tamari and sriracha on the side, if desired.
**I used raw tofu here, you can get baked/flavored tofu if you like. I like Wildwood's baked tofu.