Summer Vegetable Curry

July 11, 2011

Friends, I am back from vacation.  It was wonderful to be away, wonderful to see the sun, feel the heat, and to spend time with Randy’s large extended family.  There was a lot of travel to get through and my boys did great.  If you have young children and are wondering if you will ever get on an airplane again with out a pit of despair in your stomach, let me tell you that – in my opinion – things change when your youngest turns four.  I read almost a whole novel on the way out and another almost whole one on the way back.  Yes, we still answered an almost endless number of “Are we there yet?” questions and their close relations, but we all had fun.  Imagine that.

(By the way, if you like modern fiction – you have to pick up Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Good Squad.  I absolutely loved it and marveled at how one person wrote such a diverse novel.  It’s the best thing I’ve read since Let the Great World Spin – another book I can’t recommend highly enough.)

More on the trip after I take a look at the photos.  For now, here is a dish that we enjoyed right before we left.  This recipe is a little funny.  Not funny as in ha-ha or funny tasting.  Just, you know, funny.  Like why would you take a bunch of summer vegetables, summer being the season where it is supposedly hot, and roast them not once but twice in the oven?  Grill, yes – I understand, but roast in a 400º oven?  That makes no sense to me.  As it turns out, it was just fine to turn on my oven twice the day I made this dish because it was either the oven or the heater and I just refuse to turn on the heat post-summer solstice.

The recipe was also funny because you make a strange sauce (that is, nonetheless, very tasty) and just mix two hot things together in a bowl.  Maybe this works for some people but it just sounded all wrong to me.  I tweaked and made notes for next time, because there will be a next time.  This is not a super quick dish but I think if you used the grill, which I didn’t do but recommend, and just threw all the vegetables and the sauce together in a pot and served it alongside quinoa, which I did do and recommend, it’s a very different and very delicious dinner.

One Year Ago: Kosheri
Two Years Ago: Vietnamese Tofu Sandwiches
Three Years Ago: White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes

Summer Vegetable Ragout with Curry Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Serves 4

I can’t give you the recipe the way I would make it next time since I haven’t made it that way, so here it is more or less the way it was written with some of my changes.  Next time, I will cut the eggplant and squashes into thick slabs and grill them, then chop them into bite-size pieces.  I would also grill the corn.  I have several recipes that call for carrot juice and I always use Odwalla brand.

Curry Sauce
Vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled, chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, smashed lightly and coarsely chopped
1 1-inch piece unpeeled fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, finely chopped
2 tbsp. curry powder
2½ tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups carrot juice

1½ pounds eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
About 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 pound assorted summer squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound green beans, or other long beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch lengths
4 ears of corn, husked
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 cups arugula
¼ cup torn fresh basil (Thai basil if you can find it)

Curry Sauce
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat.  Drizzle in just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan, then add the onion, carrot, lemongrass, and ginger; sauté until slightly softened but not brown, about 5 minutes.  Add apple and curry powder; sauté until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.  Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, then flour and stir 1 to 2 minutes.  Gradually pour in carrot juice; bring to boil, whisking constantly.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to generous 2½ cups, about 20 minutes.  Strain sauce through fine strainer set over bowl, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids in strainer.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Place sauce back in saucepan and keep warm.  (Curry sauce can be made 1 day ahead.  Cool slightly then cover and chillRewarm over medium-low heat.)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Place eggplant cubes on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Toss to coat.  Place squash on another large baking sheet and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.  Roast until squash and eggplant are light golden and tender, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes for squash and 40 minutes for eggplant.  Remove baking sheets from oven and set aside.

Fill large bowl with water and ice.  Cook beans in a large pot of salted boiling water until just crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes, depending on size of beans.  Using tongs, transfer beans to bowl of ice water to cool.  Drain.  Maintain boiling water in same pot; add corn.  Cook until corn is just tender, about 3 minutes.  Cool slightly.  Cut kernels off cob; discard cobs.

Place all vegetables in a large pot and heat over medium-low heat.  Carefully pour the sauce over top and mix well to combine.  Mix in chickpeas.  Just before serving, stir in arugula and basil and stir until slightly wilted.  Serve alongside quinoa, rice, or all on its own.


  1. So funny, I read Visit from the Goon Squad while in NYC on my holiday. And for a summer curry, I’m all for it. This looks so good and bright and I’ve never tried a sauce with carrot juice. Sounds perfect!

    Comment by kickpleat — July 11, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

  2. welcome back! I’ve missed you veggie girl!

    Comment by stacey snacks — July 12, 2011 @ 12:08 am

  3. Ok – now I don’t feel so wierd. Yesterday I made my own version of summer vegetable curry (also with chickpeas) but used Patak’s curry paste and coconut milk as a cheater sauce – I used onions, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, and fresh peas. My reasoning was similar – I was chilly and needed something warm for supper.

    And thanks for the encouraging story about air travel. I hope it’s true for our boy next year.

    Comment by Charlotte — July 12, 2011 @ 12:56 am

  4. I’m so glad you’re back! I’ve missed you and all the deliciousness that comes along with you! I’ll be honest, I’m totally fine with turning on my oven. I just made pizza, in fact. I’m a crazy person. And in all likelihood, I’ll be making this later this week. As soon as I get my hands on some lemongrass!

    Comment by Joanne — July 12, 2011 @ 1:04 am

  5. i have been intending to start Let the Great World Spin – I needed your encouragement! Glad you had a nice time!

    Comment by sara — July 12, 2011 @ 5:18 am

  6. Ooooo! Love anything that uses the variety of summer squashes we have here in SC. And if that involves curry sauce – EVEN BETTER. We’ve been tag teaming (my husband mans the smokin’ hot dutch oven and I throw the dough in it) your no knead bread for the last week. We may never buy bread again…FAB!!! I’m addicted to your recipes. Thanks for being U!!!

    Comment by Chris Koelker — July 12, 2011 @ 3:10 pm

  7. What interests me as much as the ragout is the side — is that just short-grain rice cooked with red quinoa? Or blond and red quinoa cooked together? Pretty!

    Comment by cheryl — July 12, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

  8. That looks marvelous! And I totally agree with the “travel after four” theory. Vacations.. heck, trips to the grocery store.. are so much more sane when everyone can speak in full sentences and use the toilet independently.

    Comment by Stephanie — July 13, 2011 @ 1:29 am

  9. Mmm… It’s midwinter here, but I am SO making this :-)

    Comment by Koek! — July 13, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

  10. so glad you had a fun trip!

    btw, i have “let the great world spin” on my nightstand just waiting for me to have time to read it. now i’m even more excited! :)

    Comment by natalie (the sweets life) — July 15, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

  11. […] + Summer Vegetable Curry *note: I’m leery of curry powder so I used only 1 Tbs. I did NOT throw out the solids from the sauce, why waste it? I thought it added nicely to the dish. I left out eggplant since we don’t care for it. I grilled the squash, corn, and green beans. I also used whole wheat couscous instead of quinoa. […]

    Pingback by Food for Thought 32 trustudio | imagery that touches your soul | a Chicago based lifestyle photography duo trustudio | imagery that touches your soul | a Chicago based creative lifestyle photography duo — August 5, 2011 @ 12:23 pm

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