When you are tired of the same old tuna or salmon sushi, it’s time to get your veg on with a Green Goddess Roll. Once you realize that almost anything wrapped with seaweed and rice and dunked in soy sauce tastes good, the world of sushi suddenly gets much bigger. This vegetarian Green Goddess sushi roll combines sautéed lacinato kale, broccolini and tofu with avocado and a good smear of basil-cashew pesto. A sprinkle of hemp hearts is optional but adds a little crunch and some protein.
Something’s Not Fishy
The vegetarian sushi roll is totally under-appreciated. Leave out the fish, and the combinations are endless. One of the things that attracts people to sushi is that it’s lighter than typical restaurant fare. So why is it that you have to be a fish eater to indulge? Experimenting with your favorite vegetable combinations in sushi opens up a new world of possibilities.
Love kale? Love broccolini? Love getting as much green in as you can? You’re going to love Green Goddess Roll.
Sushi Skills – Green Goddess Roll
The Rice is Right
This method also works great with basmati rice. You can add a little coconut milk to the water for flavor (I’ve never tried that for sushi but maybe I will). I also like to throw in a small amount of this gorgeous harmony quinoa because I like the way it looks on a finished roll. Plus, it adds even more protein to vegetarian sushi rolls like the Green Goddess Roll.
Getting Better Every Time
Placing the rice is the hardest part of making sushi at home. My revelation from this week’s Green Goddess Roll experiment was that you only need to put the rice on about half of the seaweed sheet. Maybe even slightly less.
Then, when you flip it over, put the filling ingredients on the part of the sheet that doesn’t have rice underneath. You want to be able to get a full two turns of the roll with just seaweed before you reach the rice. It makes for a smaller finished roll that cuts into perfect bite-sized pieces.
The Green Goddess Roll
The Green Goddess Roll is one of the more delicious combinations I’ve come up with thus far. Toss some broccolini and chopped kale in olive oil, season with salt. Sauté over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet (or regular skillet) for 4-5 minutes until just cooked through but not soggy.
- parchment paper
- 3/4 cup sushi rice, rinsed several times
- 2 tbsps quinoa, rinsed several times (optional)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds or furikake (optional)
Green Goddess Roll Assembly
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup broccolini, cut into bite sized pieces
- 2 cups lacinato (dinosaur) kale, sliced into strips
- 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
- salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp basil pesto
- 3 strips tofu (roughly 1 inch wide)
- 1 avocado, sliced thinly
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1/2 lemon
- 3 sheets nori
- soy sauce for dipping
- wasabi paste, optional
Prepare the Sushi Rice
- Rinse sushi rice (and quinoa if using) in a strainer and place rinsed sushi rice in a small saucepan. Add water and place over med heat. As soon as bubbles start to form on the edges, swirl to release anything sticking and cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn off heat (don't open the lid). Allow to steam for another 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with fork. Add rice vinegar, sugar, and sesame seeds or furikake (if using) and fluff again. Set aside and allow to rest until just warm.
Preparing the Roll
- While rice is cooking, prepare the kale and broccolini. Preheat a cast iron grill pan over medium high heat. Toss the broccolini and kale with the olive oil, season with salt and lemon zest (if using). Once pan is hot, add the broccolini/kale mixutre and cook for 4-5 minutes until hot but not limp or wilted. Reove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Once rice is done, place one nori sheet (bumpy side up) on a piece of parchment paper. Using a fork and wet fingers, press cooked sushi rice onto the mat and use wet fingers to achieve complete coverage from the top to about 4 inches down the sheet. Carefully flip the nori over so that the rice is facing down.
- Spread 1 tbsp of the basil pesto across the seaweed sheet about 1 inch from the bottom. Layer the tofu next, followed by a nice handful of the broccolini and kale. Carefully lay 2 slices of avocado on top and sprinkle with hemp hearts. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice concentrated on the avocado.
- Pick up the edge of your parchment paper and start to flip the exposed piece of nori over the filling ingredients. You essentially want to tuck that piece around and under to get your roll sealed. You can probably make two full turns of the roll with your hands. From there, lift the parchment and flip it over the roll. Use it as a guide to begin rolling while also pulling it back towards you, and use your fingers to pinch the roll firmly as you go. You want to get things tight on that first turn and then continue rolling about a half turn at a time, pulling the parchment free as you continue to roll forward and continue to pinch along the length of the roll as you go. Unroll the parchment and you should have a beautiful sushi roll!
- The hardest part IMO is cutting. Move the roll to a cutting board and lay a piece of parchment over the top. Use your fingers to hold the parchment and roll firmly while sliced with a serrated knife, gently sawing back and forth as you go. Carefully remove the parchment. Stand back to admire what you've created, then go ahead and make your second roll. Serve immediately or keep wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to serve.
- Serve 1 roll per person with soy sauce for dipping and wasabi paste on the side (optional).