Asparagus Bacon Spring Rolls Tapas Party: a Collaboration with West Elm

Roasted Asparagus and Bacon Spring Rolls on White On Rice Couple

When thinking of all the reasons why we love the holidays so much, a million thoughts come to mind. And when we think of the reasons what makes the holidays so stressful, a few pop up to the surface. But avoiding the crazy shopping malls pretty much alleviates all the stress already. Maybe we’re getting old, but as the years go by, our holidays become so much less stressful and quite honestly, so much more enjoyable.

Bye bye to all the fancy holiday gatherings we used to do with days of cooking preparation and decorating the house with all the jingle bells and poinsettias in every corner of the house.

Simply put, we now host casual holiday dinner parties full of tapas, small bites and fun conversation. Holiday life is so much easier that way because between holiday photo shoots and two attention-hungry dogs the more casual the party, the better!

We hosted a special little holiday tapas dinner in collaboration with and some of West Elm’s dishes, which we can never get enough. Before they ever reached out to us to collaborate on a tapas party shoot, we had their dishes stocked high in our studio’s prop room already. So adding a few more pieces to our collection was an easy “yes”. Pull our arms, why don’t ‘cha?

On the menu were some favorite recipes from our cookbook Bountiful including our roasted asparagus and bacon spring rolls, charred shishito peppers  and ever-so-popular and fattening crack dip.

We chose West Elm’s Gather Plates for our party because the etching and theme of what we’re about is gathering. The evening couldn’t have been any more perfect and with the addition of some personal favorites from Lindsay’s Suite One Studio dishes we bought, the table was set the exactly the way we wanted: simple, un-fussy and loaded with tons of great asparagus bacon spring rolls.

Roasted Asparagus and Bacon Spring Rolls on White On Rice Couple

If you’ve never rolled spring rolls before or have failed, no worries. Rolling these are actually so much easier than you’d ever think and best of all, you can roll anything in them. It’s one of the most fun ways to gather a group of friends together and eat tapas. Here’s a tutorial we wrote on how to roll spring rolls for any of you newbies.

Roasted Asparagus and Bacon Spring Rolls on White On Rice Couple

Part of the fun of our spring roll parties is to have everyone roll their own rolls and cut them into bite sized pieces to share with others. For tapas, that’s the best part because you can small bites from everyones creation.  But the real fun at our gathering is watching to see how everyone rolls. Some spring rolls come out like skinny cigars, while other friends roll huge burrito sized spring rolls. It’s always a great laugh to poke fun at those who end up making burritos instead of spring rolls. But it’s all in fun and that’s why gatherings are so wonderful. There’s never a boring moment.

Here’s a Few of our Favorite Spring Roll Ingredients and Tools:

It can sometimes be hard to find good spring roll ingredients and tools. Here’s some of the favorites:

Three Ladies Rice Paper Wrappers – Love these wrappers. Easy to work with. Consistently one of the best wrappers we’ve found.
Rice Paper Wrapper Water Bowl – The perfect bowl for dipping the rice paper at the table. These have been life changers when it comes to our spring roll parties. Easy for everyone to dip and takes up so much less table space. 
OXO Julienne Tool – This little tool makes julienning the carrots and other ingredients a breeze. 

Flying Lion Fish Sauce – This has been our house fish sauce for decades. Great stuff! We’ll use it to make our dipping sauces as well as marinades.
Red Boat Fish Sauce – 100% all natural first press extra virgin Vietnamese fish sauce. A solid craft fish sauce producer.
Koon Chun Hoisin Sauce – Our house favorite hoisin sauce. Great flavor. We use it to make a dipping sauce for spring rolls.

Now we have two weeks before Christmas arrives and we still can’t believe it’s almost here. Where did 2011, 2012 and now 2013 go to? If you figure it out, let us know!

Hope all your holiday planning is swell, full of family and great food. And fingers crossed, less mall time and less stress!


diane and todd

Roasted Asparagus and Bacon Spring Rolls on White On Rice Couple

  happy holidays!Roasted Asparagus and Bacon Spring Rolls on White On Rice Couple

Roasted Asparagus Spring Rolls with Bacon

Yield: about 10 rolls

Total Time: 30 min

The fillings here are not traditionally Vietnamese, but they are examples of the endless possibilities
for spring rolls. This recipe is not paired with a dip because the bacon is already quite salty.
For dip ideas see our other spring roll recipes.


  • 1 bunch tender baby asparagus (about 1⁄2 pound / 225g)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 12 slices bacon, crisped
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (optional)
  • Lettuce leaves
Fresh basil or mint leaves
  • Rice paper wrappers


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Trim any dry or tough ends from the asparagus spears. On a sheet pan, toss the asparagus with the oil. Add pepper to taste. (Do not salt the asparagus because the bacon will be salty.)
  3. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. (Cooking time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the asparagus.)
  4. Gather the asparagus, bacon, cucumber, carrot (if using), lettuce leaves, herb leaves, and rice paper wrappers and prepare to roll.

To Roll

  1. Fill a large bowl with warm (bath-temperature) water. Gently dip each rice paper wrapper in the water for a few seconds, just until damp. (Don’t oversoak.) Place the wrapper on a plate or wooden board. As the wrapper begins to absorb the water and becomes softer and pliable (10 to 30 seconds, depending on the thickness of the wrappers and the water temperature), begin to add the fillings.
  2. On the one-third of the wrapper closest to you, place a layer of each filling (asparagus, one slice of bacon, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, and herb leaves).
  3. Start rolling the wrapper over the fillings, away from you, tucking and rolling the wrapper with your fingers, making sure all the fillings remain within the wrapper and tucking in the sides as you roll.
Recipe Source:

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Recipe Note for Salt: All recipes containing salt are based on kosher or sea salt amounts, not table salt. If using table salt, reduce the amount used to taste.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Linh Kieu

    Such beautiful photos. I do summer roll parties all the time and my friends love it. And the all time favorite is summer rolls with sauteed beef, charred pineapple and shredded cucumber – nuoc mam with ginger and lime juice for dipping sauce. If you haven’t, try it.

  2. Mimi

    Amazing. Beautiful. Incredible.

  3. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)

    Thank you so much for this “how to” on the Spring Roll issue. I tried once. I wouldn’t say I failed, but they were somewhat of a mess. I love small bite gatherings and appreciate these ideas. The spring rolls are a must try and heading over to take a look at that crack dip. Thanks for the post.

  4. Terry Covington

    Where DOES the time fly? One of my cousins and her husband one year wishfully invented “Manuary,” a 13th month that would be there for them to squeeze in everything they wanted to do but didn’t complete in the other 12. 🙂 Not a bad idea. The very best and most important thing I get from your blog, photos, videos, and recipes, is not to let the time slip by without paying attention to the most important things: the people and pets we care about. And to be glad for the wonder of gardens and gatherings. Thank you! Happy holidays!

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