Café Gratitude Style Summer Rolls

Collard wrapped Summer Rolls

Makes about one cup sauce; summer roll servings vary

Café Gratitude is a natural foods restaurant with locations in San Francisco and Berkeley.  A favorite dish is their collard-wrapped summer rolls.  This is my approximation.  You can improvise the fillings—mix and match as you like.  Choose raw items that offer a range of textures, with plenty of crunch.  Kids will enjoy wrapping their own green bundles.  By the way, the dipping sauce makes a great sandwich or veggie burger spread, too.


  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons white miso (from Whole Foods)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut, cashew or almond butter
  • pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • handful fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil or arugula)
  • drizzle of honey or agave (optional)
  • collard leaves, stems cut off
  • any of the following, cut into long matchstick lengths:  apple, peach, plum, carrot, cucumber, celery, radish, jicama, pear, raw beet, raw turnip
  • ripe avocado, cubed
  • strawberry halves
  • sprouts such as sunflower, pea shoots, radish
  • herbs like basil, mint, cilantro, parsley, dill or arugula (optional)


  1. For dipping sauce, blend first 8 ingredients (up to collards) together in a food processor until very smooth.  Taste, then add the agave/honey if you like a hint of sweetness. Refrigerate.  This step can be done a day or two ahead of time.
  2. Steam collard leaves until dark green and just pliable (less than one minute).  Rinse under cool water and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.
  3. Lay a leaf out on a cutting board.  Place a small amount of julienned fruits and vegetables or other ingredients on each leaf.  Roll up to create a fat cigar-like shape. Repeat with each leaf.  Serve with dipping sauce.  Best eaten shortly after assembly.

Green Salad with Radish and Manchego Cheese

Manchego is a sheep’s milk cheese from Spain – buttery textured, though firm, with a distinctive, mild flavor.  If you are unable to locate it, try using Pecorino Romano, or domestic Parmesan (not imported which is harder) in its place.  Some radishes can be pungent, even overwhelmingly so, in large amounts.  Grating them into small strips using a standard box grater (largest size holes) allows each forkful of salad to find just the right balance of flavor and texture – spicy radish; soft, mellow cheese; crisp lettuce; and mustardy vinaigrette.  You might also consider adding some chopped pecans like I did the other night.


  • 4-6 large lettuce leaves, rinsed and torn into salad-sized pieces
  • 1 cup peeled, shredded Black Spanish radish
  • Red onion, thinly sliced, to taste
  • Shaved Manchego Cheese
  • Chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Mustard Vinaigrette

Toss lettuce, radish and onion with enough mustard vinaigrette to coat.  Refrigerate remaining vinaigrette for later use.  Serve with shaved Manchego Cheese on top and nuts, if desired.

Watermelon Salad with Cucumber, Radish and Lime

The recipe is adapted from one by Floyd Cardoz, famed chef at Tabla restaurant in New York City.  Check out his cookbook, One Spice, Two Spice which features a very modern take on Indian food and spices.

For this salad use watermelon at its peak—crisp and sweet, dripping in its juice.  The cucumber and radish add extra crunch, and the onion, a little savory bite. You can also add other seasonal fruits too—such as peach or other melon varieties.  The secret to this salad is the marriage between the melon and the lime—the sweet and sour flavors balance each other with perfect simplicity.  Don’t leave out the zest.  You’ll be surprised at what it adds—tiny bursts of intense lime flavor.

You can easily omit the chaat masala if you don’t have it, but don’t be afraid to give it a try.  The spice blend adds a wonderful warm counterpoint to the cool melon.  Chaat masala can be found in any Indian grocery store, or if you feel ambitious, grind your own.


  • ½ teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chaat masala
  • 1 half jalapeno (or to taste), minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, preferably organically grown
  • 6 cups watermelon, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup daikon or red radish, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup Persian or English cucumber, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoon minced sweet or red onion
  • ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Carefully wash and dry the lime.  Zest and juice the lime.
  2. Mix ginger root, chaat masala, jalapeno, olive oil, lime juice and zest in a small bowl.  Let the mixture sit for at least 10 minutes, so the flavors meld.
  3. Put the melon, cucumber, radish, onion, cilantro and mint together in a bowl, and toss with ginger-lime dressing.
  4. Season with salt if desired and lots of freshly ground pepper.

Mixed Green Salad with Orange, Avocado and Radish

How spoiled we are to find all the ingredients for this salad locally, including in our backyards.  Raised in Illinois, after 17 years in the SF Bay Area, I am still struck by the exotic sight of citrus trees growing right outside my door.

Our farm box delivery provided the lettuce – the nuts, avocado, radish, onion and vinaigrette ingredients all came from the local farmers’ market.  We still have a few juicy oranges hanging onto our backyard trees, so sweet they are practically bursting.  If it were fall, we’d be harvesting walnuts from the yard as well!

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