How My Garden Grows (and Spring Roll recipe)

19 Jul

A few years ago, on the last blog I wrote on, I posted this:

Dead Garden

My second attempt, in 2012, resulted in a few kind of sour tomatoes, lots of basil, and a bunch of serrano peppers.  It was definitely an improvement, but not exactly impressive.  I should have a green thumb since both of my parents are excellent at keeping plants alive and thriving.  I grew up around small backyard gardens – this should be a piece of cake for me!

Well, this year? My garden is off the hook.

This is what was waiting for me when I came back from vacation:


And a week later:


Okay… I’m not going to feed a family of four, but for just me?  This is a bounty, for sure.

I made guacamole this weekend with some serranos and tomatoes and I’ve been adding tomatoes to all my salads, but there’s still a lot left.  Next week, I’ll share how I’m using up those peppers, but now here’s a good use for any herbs you might have growing in your own gardens.

Herb Garden Spring Rolls

Rice paper
Bean sprouts
Tofu (or shrimp)
Shredded carrots
Romaine lettuce
Thinly sliced red peppers
Herbs of your choice (I used mint)

Drain your tofu and cut it into thin strips, about 3 inches long.  Get a large bowl of water ready and spread out your ingredients.  Dip the rice paper into the water until it’s completely damp and pliable.  Arrange your ingredients in the middle of the rice paper.


Fold the side of the rice paper nearest to you over the filling very tightly.  Pull in the sides tightly as well (like making burrito except tighter, if you get the picture).  Continue rolling the roll away from yourself, pulling in the sides as necessary.  The roll should stick to itself and stay closed.

IMG_3379 (I’m still working on taking good food pictures.)

Enjoy immediately or wrap in saran wrap for later (if anyone has an alternative to plastic wrap… let me know).  You can dip in any prepared sauce or make your own.  I used this fish sauce recipe this time mixed with some teriyaki sauce, but I absolutely LOVE this California-style dip, too.

Spring rolls are like salads or sandwiches – you can experiment forever with different combos of proteins, veggies and sauces to make fun combinations. That’s why they’re great for using up stuff in your fridge or garden.  I want to try some with lemon balm or basil and some hot peppers.  If I come up with a great combo I’ll be sure to share it with you.

~ April


2 Responses to “How My Garden Grows (and Spring Roll recipe)”

  1. Mara July 20, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    Your last comment about using leftovers is so true! Also good in them are the mai-fun (rice vermicelli) noodles, sauteed onions, and saute the tofu with the onions in soy sauce. Thanks for the reminder on how it’s spring roll season.

  2. wanderdrossel July 21, 2013 at 9:56 pm #

    Spring rolls without peanut sauce? Sacrilege!

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