Springtime Rolls with Miso-Kale Pesto
If spring had a flavor, it would be these brightly herbaceous "spring" rolls. The asparagus, snow peas, lettuce and abundant herbs provide a fresh, crisp mouthful, perfect for a gathering or a fun roll-it-yourself midweek dinner for the family. We're thrilled to share this recipes from one of our favorite cookbook authors, Hetty McKinnon.
Vegan and gluten free
- 12 asparagus spears (about 5 ounces / 140 g), woody ends removed
- 3 ounces (85 g) snow peas, trimmed
- 3 1⁄2 ounces (100g) mung bean vermicelli, soaked in water for 15 minutes
- Toasted sesame oil
- 12 (8-inch / 20 cm) rice paper rounds
- 12 romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 avocado, cut into thin wedges
- Handful of mint leaves
- Handful of cilantro leaves
- Handful of basil or Vietnamese mint leaves
- Sea salt
- 3 1⁄2 ounces (100g) kale leaves
- 1⁄2 cup (12g) basil leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1/3 (45g) toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon white (Shiro) miso paste
- 3⁄4 (185ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest and juice of 1⁄2 lemon
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Mung bean vermicelli: rice vermicelli
- Snow peas: sugar snap peas
For the miso–kale pesto
- Bring a saucepan of well-salted water to the boil.
- Add the kale leaves and cook for 30–60 seconds, just until they are wiltedand bright green.
- Remove from the water with tongs (keep the water for the other veggies), place in a colander and rinse under cold water.
- Drain, then squeeze out any excess water.
- Roughly chop the kale and place in a food processor or blender.
- Add the basil, garlic and seeds and whiz to a paste.
- Add the miso, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil, lemon juice and about 2 tablespoons of water and blend again until combined.
- Stir in the lemon zest and season with sea salt and black pepper, then set aside.
- If your asparagus spears are long, snap them in half so they are about 4 inches (10 cm) in length.
- Bring the pan of salted water back to the boil, drop in the asparagus and snow peas and cook for about 1 minute until they are bright green.
- Remove from the water with tongs (keep the water for the vermicelli) and place in a colander, then immediately refresh under cold running water until completely cold.
- Add the mung bean vermicelli to the boiling water and cook for 1–2 minutes until completely transparent.
- Drain and rinse under cold water.
- Drizzle a little sesame oil over the vermicelli and season with a pinch of sea salt.
- Set aside.
To assemble the rolls
- Take a deep plate that is slightly larger than the rice paper rounds and pour in some lukewarm tap water.
- Working with one round at a time, dunk the rice paper into the water and allow to soften for 30–60 seconds—don’t let it get too soft or it will break when rolling.
- When softened, lay it out flat on a cutting board and assemble your filling.
- Starting at the edge of the rice paper closest to you (and leaving enough room to begin the rolling process), layer a piece of lettuce, followed by a small handful of vermicelli, asparagus, snow peas, avocado and herbs.
- Pull the edge closest to you over the filling—pull it tight to keep everything in place.
- Fold over once, then fold in the sides and continue to roll until you have a nice, tightly bound roll.
- Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Cut the rolls in half and serve with the miso–kale pesto.