Summery almond sauce with lime, mint, basil, and tamari

Summery almond sauce

I’ve decided to write an opera. Follow along, gentle reader, as we set the scene for our drama. It’s the tale of two brothers. It all begins on a balmy summer evening. The older brother discovers a magical island in the middle of the river. It’s an enchanted island that only the dogs know about. But the boy is partly wild water dog himself, and they let him swim. The boy sings a happy song, in which he promises to bring his little brother the very next day, as soon as he’s done with summer rec camp. But the next day dawns, and the little brother is tired and contrary. (Perhaps because he kept his mother up half the night claiming to be scared of Tintin. As if Tintin had ever scared anybody!) Little brother won’t go to the river! And this is the dramatic heart of the opera – it gets louder and louder! The orchestra rages! The brothers threaten to hurt themselves and each other. They slam doors! THey run up and down stairs! They cry and they wail! They threaten not to invite each other to their birthday parties EVER AGAIN!! In one touching aside, the mother (a comic character – a buffoon, if you will…) foolishly promises the younger son all sorts of things she can’t really give him if he’ll just walk down to the goddamn river and sit on the bank for half an hour. But he’s deaf to her promises. HE WILL NOT GO! And then, inexplicably, for no apparent reason, he decides to go after all. The dogs of the island welcome him as one of their own. The brothers swim, they have fun, they sing a reprise of the older brother’s happy song, but as a duet this time. The mother stands with her feet in the cool water, feeling like an idiot because she always forgets sunscreen, and they all go home when the little brother has to pee. EXEUNT OMNES!!

The opera will last about five hours, and in the interval we’ll serve this sauce in chilled champagne glasses. I liked this sauce quite a bit! It’s one in a long line of creamy nut-based sauces I’ve made, I’m a nut-sauce fan!! I like this one because it seems like a concentration of a lot of flavors I’ve been using lately. I’ve been putting lime in everything. I’ve been putting basil in everything. The boys have been eating tamari like it’s going out of style. And every once in a while David and I will treat ourselves to dark-and-stormy-mojitos. That’s ginger beer, rum, lime, ice and fresh mint leaves. Oh yum. So this has a lot of those flavors in it. And they’re all really nice together. I’ve eaten it with roasted vegetables (it’s nice with earthy beets and potatoes!) I’ve eaten it on green salads. And I made a nice, fresh and juicy salad of cucumbers, carrots and basil, that I coated with this. Very refreshing!

Cucumber carrot salad

Here’s Marvin Gaye with What’s Happening, Brother?

1/2 cup sliced almonds
zest and juice of half a lime
2 t tamari
1 t honey
1/2 t ginger
1/2 cup, mixed fresh mint and basil, loosely packed
2 T olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor combine the almonds, lime zest, ginger, basil and mint. Blend till it’s a bit chunky. Add the tamari and lime juice. Blend again. Add the olive oil in a thin stream, blending the whole time. Add water – up to about half a cup, till it’s as thin and creamy as you like it. Season with salt (shouldn’t need much because of the tamari!) and freshly ground pepper. Taste for lime, tamari, honey – you should have a nice balance of tart, salty, and sweet.


Cut a cucumber into small cubes
Cut some carrots into small cubes
Sprinkle over a few spoonfuls of capers
tear some fresh basil and mix it in.

Pour summery almond sauce over and stir well.


6 thoughts on “Summery almond sauce with lime, mint, basil, and tamari

  1. What a dramatic opera. Who wrote the score? I think you possibly misunderstood the characterization of the mother.

    The almond lime sauce looks fab, as does the salad. And I’m loving Marvin.

  2. A superb opera! More entertaining, imaginative, and yet somehow true-to-life than anything I’ve ever seen on stage. However, you obviously haven’t seen the TinTin episode with the crystal balls and the mummy of Rascar Capac. Sadly, it scared my daughter off TinTin for years.

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