The Food Matters Project: Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce

This post is part of the Food Matters Project, a cooking collaboration among participating bloggers. Each week, we will cook a recipe from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, which places an emphasis on mindful and sustainable eating. Follow along with us!

This week’s Food Matters recipe was selected by Alyssa of Everyday Maven. With the exception of the peanut sauce, I decided to stick very close to Bittman’s original recipe. I used a recipe for peanut sauce which I served with these chicken skewers a few months ago. Even though I decided to stick with an old favorite (no reason to change a good thing!), I am very excited to hear what other bloggers thought of Bittman’s peanut sauce.

I love how a sauce can take a meal from average to spectacular and can be incredibly versatile–add one to a simple piece of chicken, sandwich, or an omelette. A sauce can be sweet or salty, creamy or light, simple or complex, or a little of both. You can use your favorite spices, seasonal fruits, or impulse buy, combine, and serve on top of anything from meatballs to asparagus.

This year I would like to expand my sauce collections and have 7-10 staples I can whip up at a moments notice or keep in my fridge for the week. Thus far Bittman’s Romesco sauce has made my list. I have high hopes that Heidi Swanson’s Spicy Lemon Coconut Sauce will make the list as well and hope to find time to make it soon. What are your favorite sauces?

You can see other other bloggers’ Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce renditions at The Food Matters Project.

Alex Milling is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and loves dry red wines.


Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Serves 4
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook

You can use any kind of protein in this recipe, but I chose to use tofu. I drained the tofu, seasoned it with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and parsley, and baked at 400°F for 35 minutes before I added it to the summer rolls.

1 cup shredded butter lettuce
1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, mint and basil, any combination
1 cucumber, grated
4 scallions, cut lengthwise into slivers
8 ounces baked tofu, cubed, or 8 ounces other cooked protein
8 sheets of rice paper, 8 to 10 inches in diameter
1 cup Peanut Sauce

Set out a large bowl of hot water and a clean kitchen towel. Put a sheet of rice paper in the water and let it soak for about 10 seconds, just until soft (don’t let it become too soft; it will continue to soften as you work). Lay it on the towel.

Top rice paper with a small amount of each filling ingredient using no more than 1/2 cup total per roll. Roll up the rice paper to enclose the filling, then tuck in the sides as you would a burrito; keep it fairly tight and continue rolling, then press the seam to seal.

Repeat process until rice paper runs out. Serve whole or cut in half with the peanut dipping sauce on the side.


Originally posted on Monday, August 13th, 2012

4 Responses to “The Food Matters Project: Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce”

  1. Camilla

    August 13th, 2012

    Sauces definitely kick up your dishes a notch. I took a ‘sauce’ cooking class years ago and use them regularly! I’ll have to try baking the tofu next time. I just used mine straight off the block…it was fine, but yours sound delicious!

  2. Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    August 13th, 2012

    My husband really enjoyed Bittman’s Peanut Sauce. I thought it was good but I like mine a bit spicier and darker.

  3. Evi

    August 13th, 2012

    Great photo! Love the smudge of the peanut sauce, looks like it would be served in a fancy restaurant! =)

  4. Lexi

    August 13th, 2012

    Alex, your peanut sauce sounds so good. I have my own super quick peanut sauce that I like but I will try yours next time. I think the curry in it would be great with satay.

Leave a Reply