Photos by 
Jessicarobyn Keyser
Jessicarobyn Keyser

Would You Eat These Kale Salad Summer Rolls Every Day for Months or Are You Normal?

by 
Ariane Resnick
May 4, 2021

I may be a certified nutritionist, but I don’t act, or eat, like one. Beyond advising clients that it was actually OK to snack their way through the pandemic because it was a viable cortisol lowering mechanism, my meal plates — as if I usually put my food on plates! — rarely have that textbook “balanced” look. Instead, I tend to hyper-focus on one ingredient or dish for weeks, if not months, at a time. For nearly six months out of a recent year, I made a big batch of a specific summer roll weekly and ate it for one to two meals every. single. day.

Unlike your typically labor intensive summer roll, which requires you to finely shred a host of ingredients and then can't even be bothered to keep well as leftovers, these summer rolls are made from a salad you put together with the dressing, roll up, and store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Why isn’t this a more common way to make an otherwise tedious and time consuming dish? The salad gets tossed with just enough dressing to keep the rolls from hardening, which normal summer rolls would. That makes them a fully portable handheld appetizer or light entree.

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The salad for these rolls is made with ingredients that are texturally perfect for holding dressing nicely, without it making them mushy. Because of that, if you want to swap out any ingredients, I suggest doing so with ones of equally hardy texture. The salad contains thinly sliced lacinato kale, stone fruit, and almonds, along with carrots shaved on a vegetable peeler. For a cold weather twist, an apple that doesn’t brown, such as Opal, would be a great sub on the fruit front. Mango is also great if you’re looking for a more tropical vibe.

The dressing is tamarind-based with a squeeze of fresh citrus, and the nut butter in it provides both a rich mouth feel and additional protein. Any nut or seed butters will work for the dressing; my favorites are peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower. And yes, if it were outside the roll instead of inside it, the dressing would be better described as a sauce.

You may not want to eat as many thousands of these summer rolls as I have, but I guarantee you’ll be entranced by this low effort recipe. It’s elegant enough for a dinner party, yet portable enough for a boxed lunch. It’s also a great idea springboard for a genre that we deserve to see more of: make ahead, pre-dressed summer rolls. Delicious food doesn’t need to take all day, and these summer rolls prove that.

Every Day (Literally) Kale Salad Summer Rolls

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Makes 8 rolls

Ingredients

Salad

8 rice paper spring roll wrappers, large tortilla-size (22cm in diameter)

2 carrots, rainbow if available

2 small bunches / 1 large bunch / 4 cups black kale, chiffonaded

2 medium nectarines, thinly sliced. If nectarines aren’t available, try apples or mangos

½ cup slivered almonds

1 batch tamarind dressing, recipe follows

 

Dressing

1 heaping tbsp tamarind paste

½ cup nut or seed butter

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp grated ginger root, or 1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp Sriracha or other chili sauce

Hot water sufficient to thin

 

Combine all ingredients except water in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. If dressing is too thick, add hot water and whisk vigorously, one tablespoon at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. Err on the thick side, however; you do not want a watery spring roll filling.

 | 
 | 
Makes 8 rolls

Ingredients

Salad

8 rice paper spring roll wrappers, large tortilla-size (22cm in diameter)

2 carrots, rainbow if available

2 small bunches / 1 large bunch / 4 cups black kale, chiffonaded

2 medium nectarines, thinly sliced. If nectarines aren’t available, try apples or mangos

½ cup slivered almonds

1 batch tamarind dressing, recipe follows

 

Dressing

1 heaping tbsp tamarind paste

½ cup nut or seed butter

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp grated ginger root, or 1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp Sriracha or other chili sauce

Hot water sufficient to thin

 

Combine all ingredients except water in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. If dressing is too thick, add hot water and whisk vigorously, one tablespoon at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. Err on the thick side, however; you do not want a watery spring roll filling.

Ingredients

Salad

8 rice paper spring roll wrappers, large tortilla-size (22cm in diameter)

2 carrots, rainbow if available

2 small bunches / 1 large bunch / 4 cups black kale, chiffonaded

2 medium nectarines, thinly sliced. If nectarines aren’t available, try apples or mangos

½ cup slivered almonds

1 batch tamarind dressing, recipe follows

 

Dressing

1 heaping tbsp tamarind paste

½ cup nut or seed butter

1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp grated ginger root, or 1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp Sriracha or other chili sauce

Hot water sufficient to thin

 

Combine all ingredients except water in a mixing bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. If dressing is too thick, add hot water and whisk vigorously, one tablespoon at a time, until the proper consistency is achieved. Err on the thick side, however; you do not want a watery spring roll filling.

Directions

1. Shave the carrots into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. This is easily done by moving the peeler as if you’re removing the peel, which I encourage you to use here, then continuing to shave around the vegetable. 

2. Into the mixing bowl with the dressing, add the carrots, kale, and almonds. Toss well to coat, using a spoon or your hands, but refrain from softening the leaves too much. Once fully mixed, add in nectarines and toss gently just to incorporate.

4. Dip a rice paper wrapper in water, and let sit until softened, about 45 seconds. Place it on a cutting board.

5. With tongs, place about 1/8 of the salad mixture onto the rice paper, in an area near the bottom center. It should be laid down lengthwise, to facilitate the rolling process.

6. Roll the summer roll as you would a burrito, holding firmly and wrapping upward, then folding in the sides and continuing upward until it’s fully sealed.

7. Repeat steps four through seven with the remaining rice paper circles and salad filling.

About the Author

Ariane Resnick

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