Grilled Squash with Basil Puree

Grilled Squash with Basil Puree

I often feel compelled to buy summer squash even though none of us are huge fans of it. It looks so cute! So versatile! But then I get home and have to scheme to get anyone to eat it.

Truth be told, I still love the deep-fried squash I grew up with in South Carolina. Ilios Noche, a local restaurant, serves a fantastic updated Greek version of fried squash—with tzatziki!

But I may be onto something here with the basil puree. It definitely gave the squash a nice punch. And it was way easier than making pesto. Don’t get me wrong, I love pesto, but I hardly ever make it.

The basil puree from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is super simple, basically basil in the food processor with olive oil, lemon juice, a tiny bit of garlic, plus salt and pepper. I can see it with roasted veggies, potatoes, chicken, pasta…lots of possibilities. So glad we planted basil seeds. I had no idea it was so easy to grow from scratch, and now we have an overabundance.

What are your summer squash (and garden veggie) go-to dishes? I’ve also found that soaking the slices in Italian dressing before grilling is pretty yummy.

Growing Salad

Lettuce Seedlings

Wow, what a week last week! All the destruction and loss of life in Boston and Texas, then Boston (where many loved ones live) on lockdown all Friday. I don’t know about you, but I’m still kind of reeling from it. My heart goes out to all those affected by these tragedies.

On top of that I’ve got the reverse culture shock that seems to visit me after every big national conversation. It’s often jarring to hear what people say when they’re frightened and trying to make sense of it all.

So it was welcome therapy to dig in the garden with the kids yesterday. We planted annual flowers, not pictured here, but we are so enjoying watching our vegetable garden.

Lettuce Sprouts

I let the kids pick their favorite vegetables. Our five-year-old chose “salad,” which is what he calls lettuce or spinach. The way he uses the word is very German. Our eight-year-old chose carrots, and they’re coming up very nicely.

I started peppers and tomatoes indoors. They used to look like this:

Seedlings

and this:

Pepper Seedlings

But then I set them out for too long in the sun and fried nearly all of them. Ugh. I was so proud of them.

There are still a few that appear to be living, so I’m trying to nurse them back to health.

Meanwhile, I’ve been sewing a lot (very therapeutic), and I’m barreling ahead with some rewrites in my novel. I’ve been getting some ideas from the book Structuring Your Novel by Robert C. Meredith and John D. Fitzgerald. And my protagonist is facing some reverse culture shock of her own, so at least I can use mine.

What about you? Growing anything in the garden this year?

Have a great Monday!