Summer Vegetable Curry

Summer Vegetable Curry Recipe

Fresh coriander seeds have been showing up at the farmers' market these past few weeks. They're sold in bunches of long whispy limbs, dotted with bright green seeds and tiny pinprick white flowers. I bring them home, trim the ends, and place them in a big jar of water on my counter - directly in my line of sight, easy to reach for whenever I'm cooking. The seeds are incredibly aromatic, intensely flavored, vibrant and citrus-forward. And texturally, they deliver a bit of pop and punctuation.

Summer Vegetable Curry RecipeSummer Vegetable Curry RecipeSummer Vegetable Curry Recipe

In the cycle of a coriander/cilantro plant, you'll first see leaves develop, then flowers, followed by electric green seeds. I use them as an accent here in this summer vegetable curry (and if you're making your own curry paste, you can certainly add some there), we've also been working it into pesto, smashing them into pastes to top soba noodles, and I'd bet there's an excellent summer cocktail to be made with them - high on my list to experiment with...

I know it's an ingredient you rarely see at the grocers, but I suspect many of you actually grow coriander/cilantro in your gardens. The flavor is incredible, and I'm wondering if any of you have special uses, or favorite ways to use the seeds. I'm also going to buy a good amount in the coming weeks and freeze and/or dry the fresh seeds - see how they hold up.

Summer Vegetable Curry

HS: You can use a store-bought green curry paste here, or make your own. I'll include a recipe for green curry paste I learned in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

1 14-ounce can coconut milk*
4 medium shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons green curry paste, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 pound waxy potatoes, washed and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1/4 pound yellow (or green) beans
1/4 pound Romanesco florets (or broccoli)
8 ounces extra firm tofu, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
kernels from 1 ear of corn
1 lime, halved or quartered
fresh coriander seeds (or chopped cilantro)

Spoon a few tablespoons of thick coconut cream from the top of the coconut milk, place it in a large pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

Add 2/3 of the shallots and saute until they soften a bit, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and salt, and cook for another minute or two. Have a taste, and decide if you want to adjust the flavor - adding more curry paste or salt if needed.

Squeeze some lime juice over remaining shallots and set aside.

Add the rest of the coconut milk to the pot along with the potatoes, cover, and simmer until they are just starting to get tender throughout - about 10-15 minutes. At this point add the yellow beans, romanesco, and tofu. Let simmer for a couple of minutes, the potatoes should be completely tender by this point. Add the corn and remove from heat.

Serve each bowl topped with a sprinkling of the remaining shallots, fresh coriander seeds and feathery sprigs (or chopped cilantro), and more lime juice, to taste.

Serves 4.

*You have some options here. I've cooked this with full-fat coconut milk, low-fat coconut milk, and another time with a blend of full-fat coconut milk + broth (half of each)....all are good. Full fat tastes quite decadent here, very rich. Although I normally don't buy lite coconut milk, I had a can on hand and used it - it was ok(!) for this curry. Or for a lighter broth without using "light" coconut milk, you can simply thin full-fat coconut milk to the consistency you like with some great-tasting broth - this also works great.

Thai Green Curry Paste

2 green hot chilies (Thai chilies)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped shallots

1 teaspoon chopped galangal

1/2 teaspoon chopped lime rind
 (pref. makrut lime)
1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass

1 tablespoon chopped krachai

1/4 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds

1/4 teaspoon toasted coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon salt

If you have a good-sized mortar and pestle, put the green chilies in the mortar and pound, add the garlic and pound. Now add the shallots and pound - continue down the ingredient list pounding away. Alternately, give it all a whirl in a food processor.

Prep time: 30 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • The vegetables prepared this way are very reminiscent of boyhood days for me on our farm and it's gigantic garden - out of which all good things from summer flowed. We never used coconut milk back then but I can only imagine the enhancement it would have provided. Thank you for sharing this wonderful summer post.

    Dan from Platter Talk
  • so timely! as it happens, we have fresh coriander galore on our (gone to seed) plants, and have been experimenting, as well. our first go at drying them was unsuccessful, but i think we picked them too soon, while still (as you so aptly describe) electric. as i watch, they are now turning brown, and we'll try again. the secret, i suspect, is in letting them naturally give off most of their water on the plant, so that they don't rot when they're off it. will continue to watch. in the meantime, this curry looks like a brilliant way to use the bright ones! punctuation, indeed. thank you.

    molly
  • How do you store the curry paste if you don't use it all at once? I'd like to make some and give it as a gift. Do you know how long it would keep and how best to store it?

    Rebecca
  • Ooooo! Oooo! A gin gimlet with muddled cucumber and coriander. My drink of summer 2013. I use a modern (not juniper-heavy) gin. Cheers!!

    Erin S
  • This looks like a delicious recipe my veggie husband would love, but I pinned the picture of the corner of your counter because the design is so lovely and light without being cold and modern. Love the blog! Love the recipes! Love the kitchen design. :-0

    Amanda W.
  • great to see Romanesco in a curry! this looks like a great dish, I know what I am going to buy on the market tomorrow!

    Iris @ the yummyblogsisters
  • I once tried pickling some cilantro seeds. I can't remember if I brined them overnight. I poured hot spiced vinegar over them. They were delicious.

    Audrey
  • I've been eating quite a few curries this summer. I love how light and refreshing this one sounds with all those vibrant vegetables. I've never seen fresh coriander seeds before. I'll have to keep an eye out for them!

    Caz
  • thanks for mentioning what you do with the ever-going-to-seed-cilantro. I try to grow my own but in the height of summer it starts going to seed before i get to use it all. The way you use it here sounds lovely. I sometimes sprinkle it over salads, slightly crushed - and the I also dry them on the plant for dried coriander. Thanks for all the great recipes you come up with!

    doro
  • This is a summery bowl indeed. I just can't resist all those pale verdant colours, and those coriander seeds sound lovely. I'm on the hunt for fresh, now!

    Sarah | The Sugar Hit
  • In the garden cilantro does go to seed quite easily (frustratingly so). It is so nice you've found a use for the plant at this stage of it's life. I will look for the seed heads at the market. BTW is the 101 library down? I don't seem to be able to load the home page. The library is my go to source for the best recipes from the many cookbooks I borrow from the library. I miss it terribly when I can't get on. Thanks

    HS: Thanks Renee - I'll check on the library - it has had "issues" lately, and has been going down a lot. Apologies for the frustration.

    renee
  • I love green curry, but I have never made it from scratch before! I'll definitely have to head to the international market for these ingredients with list in hand!

    Diane @ Vintage Zest
  • Thanks for sharing! Did you learn the curry paste recipe at one of the local cooking schools?

    leaf (the indolent cook)
  • This recipe certainly packs in a big veggie/flavour/spice hit! I love these one-pot dinners - curry is always popular in our house. I especially love all the different types of vegetables.

    Harriet
  • Wow. What an unusual ingredient, in a beautiful light summer recipe to boot. Seems like a trend this summer for folks to use the flowering buds from herbs that have gotten a bit overgrown in the garden -one of my friends recently made a beautiful zucchini ribbon salad with dill flowers, and another used basil flowers to top a Thai curry. I'm curious how others are using coriander flowers and seeds, too!

    Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks
  • My brother has a cilantro plant on our tiny apartment balcony and I was absolutely giddy when I saw green coriander seeds for the first time ever! I plucked a couple tablespoons worth, smashed them in a saucepan and infused in hot cream for about 30 minutes, then strained and made fresh coriander ice cream! Not my personal favorite but friends were blown away by the unusual flavor. Do you ever make ice cream, Heidi?

    HS: Hi Michael - I do, on occasion! Wayne is actually more of the ice cream making enthusiast in our house - he made a shiso ice cream last week (with leaves from our plant)...as you said, unusual ;)

    Michael
  • I love the look of Romanesco. I just love the bumpy irregularities in it and seeing it in your bowl makes me smile. And coconut milk, too. Yum!

    Averie @ Averie Cooks
  • I love how veggie-packed this dish looks. In the summer it can be so hard to eat anything hot but it just looks so refreshing!

    jaime @ asweetroad
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