A fun and healthy snack or dessert!
Based on one of my favourite Vietnamese snacks, gỏi cuốn (also known as fresh spring rolls, summer rolls or rice paper rolls), these tasty fruit-filled wraps are a sweet alternative to the traditional savoury vegetable, herb and noodle filled rolls that have become popular all over the world. They’re easy and fun to make and can be prepared up to 12 hours ahead of time; simply place them on a plate so they are not touching each other, then cover them with a slightly dampened paper towel followed by plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to eat them. This vegan, gluten-free dish is a refreshing snack or dessert that would be a welcome offering on any breakfast or brunch menu. Feel free to vary the bite-sized pieces of fruit according to what you have on hand, or your family’s preference.
- 1 medium sized jalapeño
- 1/3 cup (90 mL) honey
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) lime juice (about 1 1/2 limes)
- 4 – 8 leaves lettuce, halved
- 2 large apples (about 3/4 pound), julienned to matchstick size or cut in small slices
- 1/2 cantaloupe (about 1/2 pound), julienned to matchstick size or cut in small slices
- 4 to 8 ripe strawberries, sliced thinly
- 16 – 24 mint leaves
- rice paper wrappers (use 6 inch / 15 cm wrappers if you can find them)
- Prepare all the filling ingredients. Prevent the cut apples from browning by placing them in 500 mL (2 cups) cold water mixed with 2 tablespoons lime juice.
- To make the sauce: Roast jalapeño over the open flame of a gas burner, under a broiler, with a kitchen torch or on a gas barbeque. Rotate the pepper until the skin is blackened all over. Remove from heat.
- Warm the honey in a small pot on the stove or in a microwave-safe dish. Place the jalapeño, honey and lime juice, in a clean 1 cup (250 mL) canning jar. With a small wooden spoon, muddle (stir and mash) the jalapeño until the sauce is well combined. Strain the sauce into a small serving bowl and discard the jalapeño pulp.
- To assemble the rolls: Fill a shallow dish (a pie plate works well) with warm water. Dunk one of the rice papers in the water and soak until it has softened and is pliable, about 10 seconds. Carefully remove it with two hands and place it on a clean work surface. Place half a leaf of lettuce down onto the softened wrapper and layer with cut apples (pat them dry first), melon, strawberries and 2 – 3 mint leaves. To roll, fold the edge nearest to you over the filling, then fold sides towards center and roll until closed (just like making a burrito).
- To serve, leave the rolls whole or cut in half, and serve with sauce for drizzling or dipping.
Makes 8 – 10 rolls