Vegetables in Thai Red Curry

I recently received a complimentary issue of Vegetarian Times in the mail and browsed through it with excitement about the recipes therein. As I mentioned, I have been recently accosted with veggie abundance via my CSA and have been trying to use as many veggies as possible in everything I cook. There was a section on 'The Zen Kitchen' and cooking the Tassajara way (which means nothing to me because I only read the recipes - so I'll have to go back and read about it) where I found a recipe for 'Vegetables in Thai Red Curry' that I realized could be used as a method rather than strictly a recipe.

I've listed my version here, however you could either go to their website or buy the magazine (it's on page 63 of the September issue) to get their exact recipe or you could just use whatever veggies you have at your house that might be good in a curry sauce. And let's be honest - what *isn't* good slathered in curry sauce??

Vegetables in Thai Red Curry
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine
Serves 4

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
5 or 6 small carrots, cut into chunks
1 sweet bell pepper, any color, sliced into strips
1 large zucchini, cut into chunks or rounds
1 tbsp canola oil
1-2 tbsp Thai red curry paste, or to taste (I use the Thai Kitchen brand)
1 14oz can light coconut milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbs tamari or soy sauce
20-30 fresh Thai basil leaves

Place cut zucchini in a colander and sprinkle two teaspoons kosher salt over it and toss. Leave to stand for 30 minutes. Wipe salt and blot dry with paper towels. Set aside until ready to use. You can skip this step, but honestly I think it's worth the trouble. It let's the zucchini release all of its moisture and you can brown it a bit and give it better flavor.

Blanch cauliflower for 3 minutes in a pot of boiling, salted water. Remove with a strainer and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Repeat with carrots in same pot of water. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and cook for 5 minutes until nicely browned in spots. Add carrots and saute for 2-3 minutes further then remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine 1tbsp curry paste with a few tbsps of coconut milk. Stir together until the paste dissolves into the milk. In a wide saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk, curry slurry, sugar, tamari and 1/2 cup water. If it is not spicy enough for your taste, make another slurry with a bit of water and add it to the sauce.

Add vegetables and 1/2 of basil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with the rest of the basil. Serve over some type of grain (I used whole wheat couscous).

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