Recipe and photos by Brandon Matzek
Seaside snacks are a must-have if you are planning an all-day beach excursion. These Kale and Avocado Summer Rolls will surely fuel an afternoon of tanning, volleyball, bocce ball and body surfing. Curly kale is marinated in a salty-sweet dressing, then wrapped up with rich avocado, crunchy carrot, crisp cucumber and a smattering of fragrant herbs. Light and fresh, these flavor packed rolls are durable and portable. For additional sustenance, pack your bag with a selection of mixed berries, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Avoid larger fruits like apples and oranges that can get sandy as you eat them. Water is a must-have, but if you are feeling more adventurous you can blend a simple watermelon agua fresca (see sidebar for recipe) and enjoy it with these healthy summer rolls.
3 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
6 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 fresno chile (or jalapen?o), seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
1 small bunch of kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 Haas avocados
10 - 12 sheets rice paper (8 1/2")
1/2 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 English cucumber, julienned
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
Make the kale salad. Combine honey, lime juice, fish sauce, garlic and chopped chili in a small bowl, whisking to combine. Remove the tough stem from each stalk of kale and discard. Roughly chop the remaining leaves and place in a large bowl. Add 5 tbsp. of the dressing to the kale, tossing to combine. let the salad sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Prepare the avocados. Cut each avocado in half and carefully remove the pit. scoop out the flesh and thinly slice lengthwise. Place in a small bowl and toss with 1 or 2 tbsp. of the dressing to keep the avocado from turning brown. save the remaining dressing to use as a dipping sauce.
Assemble the summer rolls. Fill a plate that's slightly larger than your rice paper with a thin layer of warm water. Dip one sheet of rice paper in the water, turn it over, and then dip the other side in the water. shake off any excess water, then place on a clean work surface. To the center of the rice paper, add a handful of kale salad and a few slices of carrot, cucumber and avocado. Top with several leaves of cilantro and mint. Tightly roll the summer roll similar to how you would roll a burrito: fold over one side against the filling, then the top and bottom. Roll towards the remaining open edge until the summer roll is sealed.
Stay or go. summer rolls can be made up to a day in advance. To serve, place rolls on a large platter in an even layer beside a small bowl of the remaining dressing. if you are taking them on the go, wrap them in parchment, and place dressing in a small Mason jar or Tupperware container.
Watermelon Agua Fresca recipe
To a blender, add 2 lbs. seedless watermelon, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp. lime juice and 1 tbsp. agave nectar. Blend until smooth, then transfer the agua fresca to a thermos with plenty of ice.