Fresh rolls are a great way to enjoy the varying colors, textures and flavors of edible Spring wildflowers and wild greens. They can be filled with many different assortments of foraged foods. For this batch the forest provided dandelion flowers, sweet violets, redbud blossoms, chickweed, dead nettle, wild garlic greens and oxalis.
Of all the flowers in these pretty little rolls, the redbud blossoms are my favorite to eat and are the highlight of this dish. The early spring blooms of Eastern redbud trees(Cercis) are far more delicious than any other wildflowers I have tasted. The flavor is very similar to sweet peas. And it’s no wonder, as they are in the pea family, Fabaceae. The texture is slightly crunchy making them a perfect ingredient for these delectable fresh rolls.
Chickweed is the primary green in these rolls, with dead nettle, oxalis and wild garlic used in smaller quantities.
I am including instructions for a spicy peanut dipping sauce. This sauce can be made without heat or garlic and still be delicious, but I prefer a bit of spice. The sauce can be made the day before. Another option is to simply enjoy these Fresh Wildflower Rolls with soy sauce .
The first time I made fresh spring/summer rolls I was a bit intimidated by the process, but assembling them turned out to be much easier than I had imagined.
I have gotten better each time I have made them and my fresh rolls currently have about a 75% successful assembly rate. I’m a perpetual over-stuffer, so I bust a few every time I make them. Since my technique still needs improvement, I will not attempt to teach the proper way to assemble rice paper rolls. I can only share the basic steps for making them. If you would like further instructions or would like to see optional methods for rolling, here are links to help you learn:
Have fun making these and remember, it is okay if some of them are messy failures. Those are the ones that you get to eat while you are assembling the rest, and even the ugly ones are delicious.
Ingredients for 10 rolls
- 10 x 6″ rice paper wrappers/discs
- 4 ounces rice noodles (bean thread, vermicelli or brown rice noodles) I used brown rice noodles because they were what I had and I actually enjoyed the earthiness that they added.
- 1 cup mixed fresh greens: washed, trimmed and dried. I used chickweed, wild garlic, dead nettle, and oxalis.
- 1 cup assorted wild flowers. I used redbud, sweet violets and dandelion petals. If dandelions are used, cut the back of the flower off and only use the petals. The green parts of the blooms are bitter.
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 1 sliced avocado
Ingredients for peanut dipping sauce
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 teaspoons garlic chili paste or sriracha (optional)
- 2 tablespoon white rice vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoon water
- Clean and trim wild greens and flowers.
- Cook rice noodles according to package directions and drain thoroughly.
- Set up rolling station: have all ingredients prepared and in easily accessible dishes, set a plate or damp cloth to be used as a work surface in the middle of rolling station, pour room temperature water in a pan or large bowl for softening rice papers, set serving dish near by for finished rolls.
- To prepare rice paper, quickly soak them in room temperature or slightly warm water. if the water is too warm the papers will tear and will be to mushy to work with. Only soak 1 or 2 at a time. If the papers soak for too long, they will fall apart.
- Lay a single rice paper on your work surface. In the middle of the rice paper assemble the bundle of fresh filling: a small bit of noodles, a few bean sprouts, a few pinches of greens, a slice of avacado and a few pinches of flowers. Don’t overstuff the rolls!
- Roll them up by folding one side over the bundle, roll once, fold the sides in, and roll the rest of the way.
- Cover finished rolls with a damp towel while you assemble the remaining rolls.
- For peanut dipping sauce, mix soy sauce, white rice vinegar, chili paste, honey and water (the amount of water varies depending on what type of peanut butter is used.)