Caprese Summer Rolls (Stuffed by Dan Whalen)

Published On 14 February, 2014 | Book Review, Gluten Free, Kosher, Lunch, Veggie Option

Comfort food has its own special meaning to each and every one of us.  For you it might be apple pie, for me this recipe brings me great comfort, and for someone else it might be some chicken goodness stuffed inside a pretzel.  Yes.  That just happened.

 That’s what Dan Whalen is all about.  Stuffing awesome food into other awesome food.  The book, Stuffed, is dedicated to creating flavor combinations that I had never dreamed of.  I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough as I skimmed through my review copy of this book.  The recipes are not inherently kosher, gluten free or vegan but as I drooled over the photos and recipes I found myself wondering if I could fuse my shepherd’s pie with my vegan mac and cheese balls as a homage to this wonderful book.

stuffed-cover

If you buy just one book this year, buy this one.

The recipe I was asked to share with from his book is one that I had to adapt a little to the kosher kitchen, and it may have been one of the few creations from this book that wasn’t entirely new to me.  Dan calls these Caprese Summer Rolls, the variation we often serve at a picnic or potluck are very similar and we always called them “freshy rolls”.

You can be creative with this dish, make sure you have a protein, Dan called for shrimp, I went with tofu.  Fresh herbs are a must, be it basil, mint or cilantro, and make sure you have something to dip these in. If you’re not a fan of balsamic for dipping, a satay peanut sauce is a great way to go too. 

Caprese Summer Rolls

This recipe is Vietalian food at its best, the fusion of Italian and Vietnamese foods!  This recipe uses the summer roll technique to wrap some tasty caprese ingredients for a light snack that is sure to please any palate!  These are perfect for a picnic or a party too. 

Ingredients for 8 large summer rolls

  • 16 tomato slices (about 3 tomatoes)
  • 8 rice paper wrappers (they look like this)
  • 24 basil leaves
  • 16 salami slices (or use marinated toasted, marinated tofu for a veggie/vegan option)
  • 16 slices fresh mozzarella (or Daiya mozzarella shreds for a kosher/vegan option)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette, for dipping

Prepare all the ingredients and get them ready to roll. Lightly salt the tomato slices and place them all around a clean surface for rolling.

Fill a shallow bowl with warm water. Dip your rice paper into the water as quick as you can, only leaving it in the water for about a second. It will still feel too firm, but the water will continue to soak in and the final texture will be just right.

Place the wrapper on the rolling surface and start putting the ingredients in. Start by laying 3 basil leaves flat on the wrapper. Next add 2 slices of salami or tofu, then add 2 slices of the tomato and sprinkle the daiya mozzarella shred.

Wrap the paper into a nice tight roll. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Slice the rolls in half, and serve with the balsamic vinaigrette for dipping.

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