Saucy summer vegetables with lemon, basil, and ginger

Summery sauce with lemon, ginger, basil, and cilantro

Summery sauce with lemon, ginger, basil, and cilantro

We’re having a heatwave! It’s been one scorcher after another, with little relief even at night. I don’t mind it so much. I like to hole up in our one air-conditioned room and read or write, and then strike out in search of water for the boys to swim in. But it does make you feel a little weary, after a while, and leave you longing for crisp, energizing weather. You might expect this week’s Sunday interactive playlist to be about hot songs, right? But no! We’re going to cool it down with songs about coldness, winter, ice and snow. What’s cooler than cool? Our ice cold playlist to chill out to.

summery sauce with lemon, basil, and ginger

summery sauce with lemon, basil, and ginger

This is a light, bright way to use up some vegetables from the farm without heating up the kitchen too much. I used golden beets, pattypan squash, golden and red tomatoes and fennel, because I like the combination of flavors and that’s what we had, but you can use what you like. It’s very flavorful, with ginger, coriander, basil, cilantro and lemon. We ate it with soba noodles, and it looked very nice and colorful against their slate grey background, but you could eat it with rice, or over greens, or as a sort of side dish.

Here’s a link to the ice cold playlist. Add what you like, or leave a comment and I’ll add it for you.

2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced, or 1 garlic scape finely chopped
3 or 4 scallions, mostly white parts, diced
1 t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and finely diced
2 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and finely diced
1 large zucchini, yellow squash or pattypan squash, trimmed and finely diced
2 t tomato paste
1 T butter
juice of half a lemon, or to taste
1 t ginger
1/2 t ground coriander
1 or 2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 cup tomatoes, chopped. I used a mixture of grape, plum, and cherry, golden and red
small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
small handful fresh basil, chopped
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and scallions, and stir and fry until the garlic starts to brown. Add the chopped vegetables and stir and fry until they soften and start to brown, five or ten minutes depending on the vegetables you choose. Add the tomato paste, butter and lemon juice, and stir to coat everything. Add the spices and then add one or two cups of water, and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the vegetables are just as tender as you like it. Stir in the spinach and cook till just wilted. If you have summer squash, the longer you simmer, the more they’ll break down and become part of the back ground, and the less you simmer the more they’ll be tender chunks.

Add the tomatoes, basil and cilantro, and cook until the tomatoes are just softened. Season with salt and pepper, taste for lemon.

Serve over rice, pasta, any grain you like, or fresh greens.


6 thoughts on “Saucy summer vegetables with lemon, basil, and ginger

  1. We are currently in the middle of a heatwave in the UK and having the same problem, it really sucks the life out of you (although im not complaining, England is normally so rainy!) these veggies look delicious.

    • I saw that my friends in the UK were having the same sort of weather. I guess we have to try to like it while we’ve got it, because it will be freezing before we know it! Thanks for your comment.

  2. wow ! I am starving since morning today and the picture of this food is making me die for 😉 Love the picture, Love the recipe and Love the post……Mostly because it shows some food 😛 Love xx

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