Local Cooking at Home: Summer Rolls

Summer Rolls from Carlin Greenstein
Summer Rolls from Carlin Greenstein

LES resident and locavore chef Carlin Greenstein is contributing a weekly seasonal recipe based on  fresh food you can find at local markets or in your CSA. This week, she shares a recipe for summer rolls (Siamese Rolls) that combines raw and cooked ingredients:

I own a very worn and well-loved copy of a cookbook called, The Balanced Plate by Renee Loux.  A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to partake in a class she taught called Raw Integration, which brings together both raw and cooked elements to make a dish or a meal.

Renee was just as vibrant in person as she seems in her cookbooks and she made some super delicious dishes for us.  The Siamese Rolls were one of my favorite; they really hit the spot.  I made them this week using many of the vegetables that arrived in my CSA box.  I did cheat by adding some mango and jicama but it was worth it!

Siamese Rolls

-Renee Loux

Lettuce Wrappers:

1 – 2 heads romaine lettuce

1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil


1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 small jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks

2 cups Napa cabbage or Chinese cabbage, sliced finely across the leaves

1 mango peeled and cut into 1/4-inch strips

2 cups mung bean sprouts

½ bunch cilantro, washed

¼  cup nicely packed mint leaves, torn if they are large

20 basil leaves, torn

Preparing the Lettuce Wrappers:

Separate the 12 largest lettuce leaves from the head. Bring a large pot of water to a simmering boil. Submerge lettuce leaves in the water for about 10 seconds. Remove with tongs or drain immediately. Shock under cold running water or submerge in ice-water to halt the cooking and preserve the bright green color at it’s peak. Gently squeeze and blot with a clean dry towel. Fold lettuce leaves with ume plum vinegar and olive oil to coat and set aside.


Lay one of the romaine leaves flat on a cutting board with the rib facing. Use a drinking glass, bottle of wine or rolling pin to roll over the rib to flatten it so it will be flexible enough to roll.

Place 1/4 to 1/3 cup of vegetables evenly across the bottom third of the leaf.  Lay out a few strips of mango, a small bunch of mung bean sprouts, a few sprigs of cilantro, a few mint leaves, and torn pieces of basil leaves. Fold the flattened bottom of the leaf over the vegetables and tuck under. Fold the sides of the leaf in and roil into a cylinder. Set aside and continue with the rest.

The rolls may be cut in half on a slight angle for beautiful presentation.