August 22, 2009

Summer Lovin’

I love to cook but I love summer too so during this wonderful time of year, I try to spend as little time as possible in the kitchen so as to enjoy every minute possible outside (hence the lack of posts). When I do finally get in the kitchen, I like to enjoy summer’s bounty at its best--in its natural state--which doens't require much effort and it brings out the best flavor. This recipe is a perfect lunch or dinner entree on those beautiful days that you don’t feel like cooking but are in the mood for summer’s finest.

Nectarine and Avocado Summer Rolls

1 nectarine, thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 large handful baby spinach or other salad greens
1 breast of chicken, grilled and thinkly sliced or shredded (or 1 breast of a rotisserie chicken, shredded)
8 fresh Basil leaves
¼ cup almond butter (or peanut butter)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
dash each salt and pepper
rice paper wrappers

Make the Almond sauce by mixing together the almond butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large microwave-safe container, heat about 1 quart of water until just about boiling. Soak a rice paper wrapper in the water and then remove from water, place on counter top and layer the (1) Nectarines, (2) avacado, (3) Salad greens (4) Basil and (5) Chicken in the bottom half of the wrapper. Drizzle a generous tablespoon of the sauce over the ingredients and wrap the wrapper, starting from the left and right sides then from the bottom up. (Similar to rolling a burrito). Contunue with another rice paper wrapper. Serves 4.

Serve as an appetizer at a cocktail party or as an entrée alongside jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk. Make these vegetarian by substituting more veggies for the chicken.