Summer Roll Italiano

Actually I developed this recipe already a few weeks ago when it was the high season for strawberries. Now it is almost the end of the season, so I thought, now it has to be published before you guys cannot find any strawberries on the market anymore. 🙂

©tastewithoutborders.com

©tastewithoutborders.com

This year we have a late summer in Germany. Until beginning of July we were looking forward to the sunshine and strawberry season for a long time. Normally the season starts already between April and May. We used to live in a small and beautiful town named Ladenburg that is very close to the famous castle city of Heidelberg.

Near our cute town there are a lot of farmers growing fantastic fruits and vegetables, some of them also have cows that deliver the best milk you can ever get. I will never forget one weekend morning three years ago. I had almost finished my 40 minutes morning-run and passed by a cow farm. Then I saw a young woman with two bottles of milk in her hand who just walked out of the farm.  What? Fresh cow milk right around the corner from where I lived? Did she get the milk from the farm?

©tastewithoutborders.com©tastewithoutborders.com

Without hesitating a second I ran into the farmyard. Almost out of breath I asked a lady from that farm: “Do you sell fresh milk?” “Yep! It can’t be any fresher!” She replies with a proud smile. I told her excitedly that I had never tried milk that came freshly milked directly from a cow ever in my life. She shook her head and looked at me pityingly: “Just a minute!” Half a minute later she came back with a glass of milk in her hand! This milk had just been milked by her, for me! Incredible! A small sip, the milk was still having that lukewarm temperature of the cow! It was the first time for me to drink fresh milk that was not packed in a bottle or carton and sold in a supermarket. And I can tell you, it was indescribably delicate!

©tastewithoutborders.com

©tastewithoutborders.com

And this lady’s family was also farming one of the strawberry fields in the neighborhood. Along my running route there were kilometers of fields full of mature strawberries. This was absolutely my favorite route for running. Especially when it is strawberry season. It took me only ten minutes from our house to the green fields.  Early in the morning, the air was fresh and nice and cool. Exactly after 10 minutes, it felt like a switch to another world, suddenly I was reaching a fairy tale world full of alluring sweet aroma of numerous strawberries.  Wherever you looked there were these small red fruits, strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries everywhere! That aroma! Every time I was feeling like I suddenly dropped into an ocean of millions of flavorsome strawberries. The whole way of my run I was wrapped in the air of sweetness! The kilometer long sweet air! It accompanied me the whole way until I stepped into one of those strawberry farms to get some of the lovely shiny red fruits to take back home for breakfast. Can you imagine how gorgeous this run was? Oh, how much I miss these wonderful moments!

 ©tastewithoutborders.com

©tastewithoutborders.com

In the last two years in Norway I was almost dying of yearning for this wonderful aroma and taste. After we moved back to Germany, we are now living in another small cute town that is not in the same region where we used to live before. I still need to find out where the closest farms are. Till then I can still get local products from a small farmer market in the town center that opens twice a week. It was also there, where I got these lovely tasty strawberries for my Summer Roll Italiano and the Strawberry Vinegar Dip.

©tastewithoutborders.com

©tastewithoutborders.com

This summer roll is a “Vietnam meets Italy” sort of recipe. I got the inspiration from our dear neighbors Simone and Brian who invited us over for dinner a few weeks ago. They served us Parma ham rolls stuffed with dried tomatoes and mozzarella as a starter.  The rolls came with a yummy lemon dressing. I really liked the taste combination of Parma ham, dried tomato and mozzarella. So I decided to give the great version of Simone and Brian an Asian twist. It didn’t take me long to come up with the idea of using Vietnams’ rice paper. This very thin, healthy and light dough made of rice flour can give the best balance to those different typical Italian tastes. Instead of the sour dressing I made a sweeter version with my homemade strawberry vinegar to counterbalance the aromatic and hearty taste of ham and dried tomatoes.  The result was marvelous!

Ingredients (4 portions as a starter):

For the summer roll:

4 rice papers
4 slices of Parma ham (For vegetarian: leave this out)
200g mozzarella
4-6 pieces of sundried tomatoes in oil
50g rice noodles
Some basil leaves
6 strawberries

Click here for the ingredients and recipe for the Strawberry Vinegar Dip.

Preparation:

  1. Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 10 minutes until they get softer.
  2. Cut the mozzarella into 4 slices, the tomatoes into stripes and the strawberries into thin slices as well.
  3. Place one piece of Parma ham on a cut board, put one slice of mozzarella, several stripes of tomato and some pieces of strawberries on top of the ham. Coil up the ham and the filling to a roll.
  4. Soak each rice paper separately for 1 minute in cool water, drain and place on a damp cloth.
  5. Put one ham roll on top of the rice paper, add some of the rice noodles and coil up to a roll again. Right before closing the roll, put one or two basil leaves and a slice of strawberry for garnish on the rice paper as well. Finish the roll.

Buon appetito! ăn ngon miệng nhĂ©!

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6 thoughts on “Summer Roll Italiano

  1. Francesca

    Hi Qin, nice idea. I think I like more the combination of breasaola (or BĂŒndnerfleisch) and strawberries with a peppery green, maybe some nice goat cheese… But I’ll definitely try the strawberry balsamico. We moved to the US this year and unfortunately they don’t have very good white asparagus like the one we have in Europe.

    Reply
    1. Qin Post author

      Hi Francesca, thanks for stopping by. I like your idea of breasaola and strawberries. 🙂 Enjoy your stay in US! It must be an exciting experience. 😀 Cheers, Qin

      Reply
  2. Luca

    Hi Qin,

    great Article! You may drive to the „Bergheimer Hof“ they are selling Milk directjy from the cow (we call it Rohmilch) and the best ever strawberries! Give it a try next season 😉

    Reply
    1. qinskitchen Post author

      Hey Luca,

      Thank you! I am glad to know you enjoyed reading. 🙂 Wow, great tip! I will definitely check there for fresh milk and next year the best strawberries of course!

      Reply

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