This versatile stir-fry could take on whatever flavors you like. Instead of coconut milk, lime and ginger, you could try a bit of cream, lemon, and shallots. You can also use this technique and these flavorings with tender green beans, snap peas, small broccoli florets, baby eggplant and other vegetables.


• 1 pound baby zucchinis and other summer squashes

• 3 tablespoons coconut cream or thick coconut milk, well-mixed

• 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

• 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• 1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

• Kosher salt

• 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh garlic

• 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

• ¼ cup torn or very roughly chopped Thai basil, basil, lemon basil, mint or cilantro leaves (any combination)


1. Trim the ends of the squashes and cut them into pieces all about the same size. Slice the long squashes into thick coins about ¾-inch thick. Cut the smallest pattypans into quarters and slightly bigger ones into wedges.


2. In a small bowl, combine the coconut cream, the lime zest, the lime juice and the brown sugar. Whisk well.


3. In a 12-inch nonstick stir-fry pan, head the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add all of the squash and about ½ teaspoon (or a little more) kosher salt. Stir well. Adding the squash will drop the temperature of the pan, so adjust the heat up if necessary so that the oil is sizzling.


4. Cook, stirring only occasionally at first, so the squash has a lot of contact with the pan, until all the squash pieces have some nice browning on one or two sides but are still somewhat firm, about 7 to 9 minutes.


5. Drop the heat slightly, add the ginger and garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant (about one minute). Add the coconut mixture, stir, let it bubble up, and remove the pan from the heat.


6. Stir in a good portion of the fresh herbs. Reserve the rest as garnish. Serve hot or warm, garnished with the remaining herbs.