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Caprese Summer Rolls a must-have for warm weather days

Everybody Craves | Meghan Rodgers
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Meghan Rodgers
Caprese Summer Bites are the perfect way to showcase the first tomatoes of the season.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Caprese Salad. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and soft mozzarella is a recipe that doesn’t need much improvement. But when you just can’t get enough of the Italian trio, it is fun to experiment with other ways to enjoy these classic ingredients.

Welcome your first summer produce haul with these light and refreshing hand-held bits of sunshine.

Roasting the tomatoes amps up the flavor and can make these spring rolls feel like more of a meal. Also, if you have trouble finding super thin rice noodles, you can always substitute with Romaine lettuce. The lettuce will nicely fill out the roll, soak up the dressing, and give your rolls a nice crunchy bite.

If you’re new to working with rice paper, here are a few tips:

• Fill a pie pan with room temperature water. Soak wrappers briefly, one at a time.

• Moisten your cutting board, lint-free towel or whatever surface you’ll be working on to make it a bit easier.

• If you’ve made a roll and it rips, no worries! Simply dip another rice paper sheet and double wrap.

Caprese Summer Rolls

2 cups cherry tomatoes

about 2-4 ounces rice noodles (depending how much you want to stuff the rolls)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt

Pepper

1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves

8-10 6-inch rice paper wrappers

5 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces

¼ cup balsamic glaze

4 leaves of Romaine lettuce, chopped (optional)

Preheat over to 425ºF. On a baking sheet, toss cherry tomatoes with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 14 to 16 minutes or until tomato skins have slightly darkened and some begin to pop with juice. Set aside to cool completely (about 10 minutes).

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add rice noodles to pot and cook according to package instructions. Noodles should be cooked, but still have a nice bite.

Fill a 9-inch pie pan with room temperature water. Dip one wrapper in at a time and let soak for about 5 seconds. Lay flat on a clean, dry surface. Alternate placing tomatoes and chunks of mozzarella about an inch away from the edge. Place one or two basil leaves on top of the tomato and cheese. Top basil with rice noodles or Romaine (or both). Fold ends of wrapper inward, then roll ingredients into a cylinder.

Transfer finished roll to serving tray. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Store rolls under a damp paper towel until ready to serve.

Serve with balsamic glaze drizzle on top or on the side for dipping.

Article by Meghan Rodgers,
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