Spring Rolls, Italian Style!

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I love spring rolls, but have always been intimidated by them. Maybe it’s because it’s an Asian thing and that’s totally out of my league. I heard horror stories of spring roll skins ripping and sticking together, but even so I was determined to try them!

I wanted to make these for our annual picnic at Ravinia last August, but chickened out at the last minute for fear I would ruin it all. Spring rolls are light, not fried, usually filled with fresh veggies, chicken or shrimp, always accompanied by a delicious dipping sauce, and best of all, everything is enclosed in a pretty little package, easy to handle, great to transport, perfect for a picnic, as a light appetizer, or even a light lunch.

Well I’m happy to say the whole process was very easy! I actually made Asian spring rolls first, with shrimp, shredded carrots, cabbage, cilantro and a little hoisen sauce in each. We dipped them in a great Asian sauce I got from Trader Joe’s.

But since this is an Italian food blog I wanted to do a little twist on the classic and try making them Italian style!

All you do is take your wrappers, place them in warm water til they melt a little and become limp. I then laid each wrapper on a clean dish towel and padded them dry
I had all my ingredients ready, cooked shrimp, marinated artichokes, (drained), roasted red pepper strips, and raw zucchini, julienned. Next, I placed everything onto a wrapper with a dollop of basil pesto, a drizzle of olive oil, a little salt and pepper, then rolled it all up like a burrito!

For my Italian version I used basil pesto as a dipping sauce, but I want to experiment with other things. Do any of you have any idea’s? I would love your input.

Next time you’re hesitant about trying something out of your comfort zone, don’t be, give it a try, because these were amazing!!

Have a relaxing weekend, and Buon Appetito!!

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  1. What an awesome idea to Itali-fy spring rolls! I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Marie! These are awesome! You’re the bomb!

  3. Excellent spring rolls – love the Italian twist! Yummy!

  4. What a fabulous idea! Italian spring rolls- you are the bomb!

  5. Let me tell you Marie, I like the Italian version far more than its Asian counterparts…..lotsa flava!!!

  6. Gorgeous spring rolls. I’ve always been a little afraid of them also. I’m sure they were wonderful with the basil pesto.
    Have a great Memorial day.

  7. What a fantastic pic! I have been intimidated by spring rolls, now I know I will give them a try. Thanks for the tips 🙂

  8. Madame Marie,
    Very nice! I have always been afraid of those limp wrappers too.
    Your garnish is so pretty!

  9. Marie, what a great idea! Might even be good with a light balsamic vinaigrette dipping sauce, too.

  10. You are brilliant. I like the Asian version, but the Italian version is even better. Leave it to you to the Proud Italian Cook!

  11. You did it again, Marie!
    I don’t think there’s any improving on these!

  12. yes the whole sticky wrapping thing took me a while to get used too.
    but heavens you did such a good job. the dipping sauce possibilities are endless here.

  13. This such an ingenious idea – an Italian spin on spring rolls!!! I love it! Basil pesto sounds like a perfect dipping sauce. The only thing I can think of is playing off the inside ingredients, like a roasted red pepper pesto or an artichoke pesto.

  14. I love this idea! You’re a smart cookie! I will definitely experiment!

  15. This is so original and sings to my Italian heart. So creative and pretty. Definitely a winner. And the pesto type dipping sauce! Mmmm.

  16. Creative thinking! very clever! What a delicious version…

  17. Oh wow! I love Italianizing things! They always turn out great. These look to be no exception! I think a nice roasted red pepper + ricotta (whized up) sauce might be nice for dipping as well. Maybe sun-dried tomatoe + balsamic vinegar (whized up) would offer nice tangy contrast as well.

  18. What a great idea..they look delicious. It sucks I’m allergic to shrimp.

  19. I’ve also been intimidated at the thought of trying to make these! You’ve given me inspiration. Plus two great recipes.

  20. The basil dip is such a perfect idea for this!

  21. Wow, these look SO good. I think a good dipping sauce might be a garlic aoili.

  22. You know I’ve always heard that ‘pasta’ was introduced in China…so why not Italian spring rolls?! Love the translucency and that you can see all the delicious stuff inside.

  23. Marie, awesome!!!

  24. You are a genius, Marie! What a creative way to prepare an Asian favorite. I think a light sauce, maybe basil vinaigrette, would be delicious. Can’t wait to try these.

  25. What a great idea! It sounds like it would be delicious this way to me. I once did a spring roll during thanksgiving time that had butternut squash in them & were dipped in a cranberry sauce. It’s fun to play around!

    I’m so sorry that we didn’t get to see you when I was in Chicago, and I’m terribly sad to hear about your Aunt. 🙁 I hope you’re doing okay.

  26. I love little wrappers of food, Marie. Yours are very creative.
    A simple dipping sauce of Tamari, vinegar, a little hot chili sesame oil, fresh ginger and scallions would do nicely, even with those scrumptious Italian flavors.

  27. I never tried to make spring rolls either Marie, and you made it look easy! I love shrimp so I’d love to stuff mine with them. What about using a bagna calda sauce as a dip?

  28. Brilliant idea!! Never would have thought of this!

    My co-workers and I are having a girls night out in August at Ravinia no less – the Doobie Brothers!

    I believe I know what I will be bringing!

  29. They look fabulous! The ingredients are perfect as is the pesto dipping sauce! Why try anything else 🙂

  30. Wow Marie these do sound delish!!! I think the pesto sauce is a great idea…. You always have the best ideas… Thanks


  31. Both versions sound lovely. I really have to try spring rolls, too – like you, I was a bit intimidated.

  32. Love the Italian twist to these Marie…you are the ultimate Italian cooking queen!! BOW!!

  33. I grilled your sides yesterday at our friends BBQ. The onions and tators were a hit! I did have a bit of a problem with the tators…I used red, but forgot to slightly pre-cook them, soooo they got a little over done, I think the fire was too hot. They still tasted good, but those onions with balsamic, were the bomb!!

    Have a great ‘Memeorial Day’ weekend.

  34. Don’t those look tasty and pretty too.

  35. Mango and Cilantro are my favourite things in cold spring roll wraps, along with crunchy carrots (julienne of course) and beansprouts!

  36. I belive you’ve just answered my “what to make for dinner tonight thats light and healthy and not a salad again” conundrum. Genius!

  37. What a great idea! LOOOVE it!

  38. Fabulous idea! These wraps would be great to keep on hand just for ideas like this.

  39. This is so clever! I make spring rolls often, and will be giving these a go! I agree these would be perfect for a picnic … provided I didn’t eat all of them as I made them! 🙂

  40. Nice twist. Afetrevthe first 1 or 2 attempts they become rally easy. Perfect for summer lunches.

  41. I love the feeling of finally trying a dish that intimidates you,and discovering it’s not that hard! I love spring rolls, and the Italian twist is so fun!

  42. Marie, these look amazing! What a great idea!