I’m not sure if David Sedaris would appreciate the literary nod in the title… I would hope he wouldn’t mind it too much. He lives in the UK now so perhaps this should be seen as an invitation to David to come over for dinner. David, if you’re reading this, I promise not to bastardise any more of your book titles if you come over for dinner, and I’ll even try to feed you dishes you’d like to eat. I also make a mean breakfast ice cream, if brunch is more your thing. I’m flexible.As you may have noticed by now, I’ve got a thing this summer for the lemon-basil combo. With the girls love of all things pesto we have two large pots of basil, constantly overflowing and begging to be used, no matter how many jars of pesto we make. And as for the lemon, citrus and summer just seem to go hand-in-hand.
Because of both warm weather as well as prioritising time spent playing outside, we’re not doing a ton of cooking these days. And most of what we are doing is grilling, which is difficult to document and frankly, doesn’t really require a recipe in my opinion (cut links of sausages, place on grill, eat when cooked).
Here are two versions of quick cold vegetable dishes I made recently- one with green beans, the other with broccoli and asparagus. Nell was keen on the beans, neither of the girls were particularly interested in the broccoli or asparagus. But Nick and I loved them all, as did my in-laws. It’s a quick and easy side dish to whatever you’ve thrown on the grill, or a nice alternative to a raw salad.
Cooking Your Greens
You’ll want to start by either blanching your veggies in vigorously boiling water for a few minutes until they are just tender but still bright green, or steaming them to the same level of done-ness. Cool them down just as quickly under cold water or in an ice bath. Dry with kitchen towel and drizzle this dressing over the top.
Lemon & Basil Vinaigrette *adapted from Epicurious
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or Cleveland’s own Stadium mustard- yum!)
- 2 pinches sea salt, or to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil or rapeseed are both good options
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 springs basil leaves
Toss all ingredients except the oil into your blender, basil sprigs can remain whole. On a low setting begin to blend. Once combined slowly drizzle in your oil until fully combined. Your basil leaves will remain as lovely little green flecks through out the dressing, which for whatever weird reason I found endearing.
While this is sort of cheating (the use of the blender) from the traditional whisk-made-emulsifying that comes with making a vinaigrette, the lemon juice and oil remain combined so in my opinion it does the job.
Dressing can be kept sealed for approx 3-4 days in the fridge, or until those pretty little green flecks become more like slimy little brown flecks, which is less endearing.