Granville Island. A magical place where cultures and tourists collide; the stomping ground for fresh local food, crafts, and seagulls. On a sunny Saturday afternoon it is a melee of sounds, smells, and way too many people. The crowds love venturing to the island, but who can blame them? It is on the water, with gorgeous views of downtown and the mountains, and delicious food to boot.
I challenge you to head into the chaotic market and not buy something to eat. From the fresh and vibrant fruits and vegetables stacked high, to the chocolates daintily painted and meticulously placed in their case. Your eyes and nose will be wanting more.
But for me, I put on my blinders and make a b-line to one specific vendor. Every. Time. Now it almost seems sacrilegious to not go there. It is like the Granville Island Gods will know if I didn’t make a stop. They’ll know.
Fraser Valley Juice and Salad (FVJS). Walking by you may be tempted to stop at the curry stand or the Stock Market (mmm soup). But don’t be fooled by the FVJS appearance. It definitely looks like a Vancouverites dream, salad and freshly pressed juice. All you need is a yoga mat and you are good to go!
Once you get in the line with the hipsters and the tourists you have to get the shrimp salad roll WITH peanut sauce. Because when you think about it, without the peanut sauce its just some noodles and lettuce. With the peanut sauce it is perfection. That combination of sweet and savory and super refreshing crunch. There is something super satisfying on a hot summers day about biting into the cold noodles and shrimp.
Because I am clearly obsessed with these salad rolls, I often try to make them at home. This is when you begin to realize how skilled these chef’s hands are, and how much of a mess you can really make. I will be honest, it does take a bit of work and practice to wrap your fillings without tearing the wrapper or creating a very unappetizing “roll”.
I think the key is to not overfill and don’t fiddle around too much. The more you fiddle, the more likely it is to break and the insides go everywhere. Commit to that folding!
After eating my fair share of salad rolls from FVJS and elsewhere, I was excited to try some new fillings. Shrimp and lettuce are a classic, but let’s turn it up a notch. Beets and avocado are the perfect health and taste combination. Not only do beets offer a nice crunch to the rolls, you are also getting a good kick of essential vitamins and minerals (vitamin c, folate, potassium). While avocados add a creaminess and dose of monounsaturated fatty acids. So it really is a win-win-win-win.
Salad rolls really are an amazing vessel to try experiment and have some fun. They are also perfect for parties, as you can pre-cut all the veggies and everyone can make their own!
Just don’t forget the peanut sauce 🙂
Beet and Avocado Salad Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Time: 30 min
Endive and Indulge Creation
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1-2 beets, boiled peeled and sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 sprig of basil
1 sprig of mint
1 package of vermicelli rice noodles
1 package circular rice paper
1 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water (optional)
- Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan; add noodles turn off heat and let sit until noodles are soft. Drain noodles in a colander and run cold water over them. Set aside.
- Place beets in a small bowl and cover with apple cider vinegar. Remove beets from vinegar when ready to start making the rolls.
- Make Sauce: combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Get a large saute pan and fill with water to about 2 inches. This will be used to soften the rice paper.
- Make sure your work station is ready with all fixings; get a damp paper towel to make the salad rolls on.
- To make the rolls: place a handful of noodles down the centre of the wrap, add a few slices of the beets and avocado. Lay on a few leaves of basil and mint. Fold the top and bottom towards the centre, from the right side grab the wrap and start rolling! Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Get creative and experiment with what you like. Be patient with trying to fold the rolls. Regardless of what it looks like, it’ll taste great! But if you want some help, check this quick video out 🙂