My brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life.


Extra-Beautiful Summer Rolls 4

Posted on July 19, 2010 by crankycheryl

One day I’m going to give away my last super-easy recipe and you Crankies are going to realize that I’m not actually a terribly good cook, just one who’s willing to be adventurous with ingredients.

But I’ll risk coming one step closer to that moment by delivering the promised recipe for Summer Rolls with Edible Flowers that was featured in my Beautiful, Edible Blossoms workshop at Red Wagon Plants.

This is probably my favorite no-cook meal.  It feels like you’ve actually made something, but you haven’t worked too hard – and you don’t have to heat anything for it unless you want to.   You can decide what to put in them by what’s in your refrigerator – combine a protein (marinated tofu, leftover chicken, etc.) on a bed of something mild (lettuce, bean thread noodles, shredded carrots), a dash of something strongly flavored like fish sauce or umeboshi or tamari, all rolled up in the rice paper wrapper and you’re done.  Adding in edible flowers makes them beautiful enough to serve to Fancy Company, should you be in the mood for that.

The recipe below suggests using all pale ingredients for the filling so that the flowers are especially visible, but – as always – you should feel free to make ’em with what you’ve got.

Beautiful Summer Rolls
makes 8 (enough for a snack for 4)

  • 8 rice paper wrappers, soaked one at a time for about 15 seconds in cold water, just before you’re ready to make them
  • 4 cups bean thread noodles soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained, and cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 cup thinly sliced light green lettuce
  • 1 cup diced marinated extra firm tofu, seitan, diced cold chicken, or other protein
  • 8 leaves cilantro or basil
  • ~1 T. fish sauce (or substitute lime juice or umeboshi vinegar or tamari)
  • 8 edible flowers (these pictured are with nasturtiums and violas, and if you don’t have access to any you can use some red leaf lettuce or anything brightly colored that you want to see)
  • sweet chili sauce, peanut sauce, fish sauce, or one of the traditional sauces on this page for dipping

Make by placing one soaked wrapper in front of you on a plate or cutting board.  Place about 1/2 cup noodles and lettuce, basil or cilantro and cubed tofu in a line on the wrapper. Drizzle over just a little bit of fish sauce or whatever you’re using.

Fold one edge over the filling, tucking the filling in so that you can roll tightly.   Place the flower to one side of the filling.

Tuck in the other sides, roll the wrapper, which will stick to itself, while using your fingers to compress the filling so it can be rolled fairly neatly.  Cover with a damp towel until the others are done, then serve with your preferred dip.

Shameless Me, Beautiful Food 2

Posted on July 10, 2010 by crankycheryl

Oh these?  Why yes, they are a most lovely food that I will in fact be including in my Beautiful, Edible Blossoms workshop next Saturday, July 17, 2010 at Red Wagon Plants in Hinesburg.  Still need to reserve your spot?  Give ’em a call at 802-482-4060.

Salad! Flowers! Mwa Ha Ha Ha! 5

Posted on June 11, 2009 by crankycheryl

[6/13/09 Update:  Check out this picture and much more frightfully gorgeous food at Photograzing!]

crazy-hair-and-evil-salad-021So one spring day you’re in your kid’s class during their free choice time, and his friend sits down and starts drawing.  He wants to draw you, he says, and before you know it there you are in a field of grass with the black t-shirt and shorts he had you add in.

Then he puts stripes on your shorts and you ask, “”Dude!  What am I, like a bee?”  And then he’s giggling madly and drawing wings and a stinger on your behind and antennae on your head.  And then he draws flowers and you ask what kind they are and his eyes get big and sincere and he spurts out, “EVIL SORCERER FLOWERS!”  You gasp and he’s giggling again, and you ask if you can bring the picture with you.

And then later you update your Facebook status so it says, “Cheryl says things can’t be all bad if your son’s 6-year-old friend draws you as a bee-girl in a field of Evil Sorcerer flowers.”  Then a food-writer friend you really respect tells you that you owe it to the bees to post a honey recipe.  And then you realize that your CSA share is about to start, and after you pick up your greens and cheese and bread, you go home and make something like this.

Evil Sorcerer Salad with Bee-Girl Dressing

Per diner:

  • 3 cups of spicy greens (arugula, mustards and the like), cleaned
  • 2 strawberries, cut into the shape of broken hearts
  • 1 slice of a nice seedy bread, lightly toasted
  • 2 smallish slices of a brie-type cheese (if you’re local or have access to Vermont cheeses, try Does’ Leap Caprella and gleefully eat whatever isn’t destined to go on someone’s salad)
  • A sprinkle of chipotle powder
  • A handful of edible flowers like pansies and nasturtiums.  Make sure they’re organic, and really try to include the nasturtiums, which are spicy, and therefore more nefarious.

Bee-Girl Dressing (enough for 4 diners):

  • 2 T. honey
  • 1 t. hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 1 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 4 T. olive oil
  • 1/8 t. (a.k.a. “just a little bit”) kosher salt

Whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.  Put cheese on bread, sprinkle with chipotle, and then toast just until warm and melty.  Toss greens with dressing and then put onto plate.  Cut bread/cheese into triangles and place on top of salad, with broken-hearted strawberries in the middle.  Arrange evil sorcerer flowers according to your dastardly plan and serve.  Your own villainous chuckle wouldn’t hurt.


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    Cheryl Herrick's brave Vermont quest to bring together food-love and mom-life. All original content (written, graphical, recipes or other), unless otherwise noted, is © and/or TM Cheryl Herrick. All rights reserved by the author. Want to reprint a recipe? Just get in touch and ask.

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