#RavsRecipes: Avocado Summer Rolls

Cooking with heat while you are doing your level best to not become human molten lava is always tricky during summer, no matter where you live. Image: Our Stable Table.

Summer rolls are one of those make-ahead cool treats that make me come alive a little.

I lived in Houston, Texas, for five summers.

For those of you who have not traveled to this region of Texas, summer lasts seven months of the year and it is roughly the temperature and atmosphere of a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup.

Maybe you're thinking you like chicken soup, so living in a bowl of it doesn't sound so bad. But it is.

It's the opposite of good. It is the opposite of OK. It is the opposite of Pokemon GO.

It is hell.

Cooking with heat while you are doing your level best to not become human molten lava is always tricky during summer, no matter where you live. I prefer batch cooking if I can make that happen, and never, under any circumstances, do I turn on my oven. Unless I'm baking a birthday cake or maybe some hand pies.

Summer rolls are one of those make-ahead cool treats that make me come alive a little.

With almost no cooking, these veggie wrap-ups are full of nourishing, cooling vegetables that will help balance your body and soul if you take triple digit temperatures personally (like I do).

Ingredients:

4 extra-large Swiss chard or collard green leaves

1 avocado, sliced

1 carrot, julienned

1 cucumber, shredded or julienned

1 cup shredded red cabbage or romaine lettuce (optional)

1 bunch fresh basil

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch fresh mint

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Directions for rolls:

Cover the bottom of a large frying pan with water and heat on medium-low.

Take greens and flash cook them one at a time. When I say “flash,” I don't mean show them your boobies. (I mean, unless you’re cooking topless, and then more power to you. Flash the high beams while you're at it, in that case.) Otherwise, cook the leaves until tender, about a minute on each side.

If you have extra energy, you can dip them in an ice weather bath afterward. Alternate layers of cooked leaves with paper towels on a large dinner plate to keep things dry and separated.

When you've finished flashing your sturdy garden greens, begin the process of assembly.

In the middle of the leaf, spoon a narrow, thin layer of sesame seeds. Layer cilantro, mint, and basil leaves on top of sesame seeds. Layer avocado slices, carrots, cucumber, and then shredded romaine lettuce.

Lift the top and bottom ends of the leaf and fold in. While holding them in place, roll the other sides of the leaf inward, like a burrito.

If you feel like you don't have enough hands to do this correctly, you are correct. This is where cooking topless might come in handy. Try using a boob as a placeholder instead, and roll the leaf up as tight as you can. Repeat.

Ingredients for sweet and sour dipping sauce:

1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp red pepper flakes or sriracha

Directions for dipping sauce:

Put everything in a little bowl and mix it up. Adjust the spice and sweet according to your preferences.

Dip, nom, repeat.

Try to stay sane and cool and don't sweat the summer.

It's not trying to hurt your feelings, I promise.  

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