The shapes and colors of the flowers visible through these translucent rice paper wrappers are evocative of light shining through stained glass. Los Angeles baker Loria Stern fills her Southeast Asian-style flowered summer rolls with fresh herbs and crunchy vegetables; for a heftier appetizer, cooked shrimp, shredded chicken, avocado, shredded red cabbage, julienned bell pepper, or even cooked rice vermicelli may be added. Just take care not to overstuff the rolls, and don’t be tempted to assemble them more than an hour ahead of time. While the filling holds up well, the wrappers will dry out and toughen quickly.
Read more about Stern's botanically-inspired recipes in "Loria Stern’s Floral Kitchen."
- 8 8½-in round rice paper spring roll wrappers
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-in. matchsticks (about 2 cups)
- 2 Persian cucumbers, cut into ¼-in. matchsticks (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups fresh basil, mint, and cilantro leaves
- 2 cups rightly colored pansies or other edible flowers