I’m sorry to all of my readers who are still in the tail end of winter, but this post will contain some envy-inducing summer-y scenes. I got back to London a few week ago after spending one glorious month in Australia with my family, and whilst there, managed to pull together some fine veg cuisine and take some, albeit sub-par, photos of some marvelous and creative Aussie vegan fare from Eumundi to Noosaville, from Melbourne to Healesville. I’ll be putting more photos up over the next few posts, to spread the southern love out a little, and to keep you all (myself included) yearning for our turn of the heat; it’s on its way!
We traveled quite a bit throughout the country whilst there, but one of my favourite places to be is on my parent’s farm in Northern Victoria. They have a small organic garden with a variety of vegetables and they also have a whole bunch of fruit trees including an orange grove whose fruits provided us with morning OJ everyday – holy shnikeys I miss it! One of the best little treasures in the garden though is the basil, and it features in these sweet lil’ spring rolls I whipped up one day for lunch – kinda perfect for the 40 degree days we were getting!
Makes: about 15, but remember we freestylin’ here – could be anything
- rice paper spring roll wraps
- 3 or 4 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
- 1 pepper (bell pepper) chopped
- couple of mushrooms, chopped
- large handful of fresh basil and/or any others
- any other veggies
- toasted sesame oil
- soy sauce
- a few fresh buttery lettuce leaves
Heat some sesame oil in a wok pan on high heat and add the onion, garlic and chilli and saute them for a minute. Add in the pepper, mushrooms and any other veggies and cook for a further few minutes (less for a fresher, crunchier spring roll).
Turn off the heat and throw in a big dash of soy sauce and torn-up basil leaves (coriander here would be great too). Place in a bowl and allow to cool slightly. Now, to roll: Fill a wide bowl with warm water and dip a single rice paper wrap in until it becomes just soft (about 15 seconds). Lay it flat on a board and lay a lettuce leaf one-third of the way in and add about two tablespoons worth of filling and wrap up it up! Once you have done all of them, place in the fridge for about 10 minutes and then serve with sweet chilli sauce or more soy sauce.
I served these with my (obviously) favourite side dish. Mung beans! Cooked and tossed with raw onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Heavenly mung beans…
Stay tuned for more inspiration from down under!