Fresh yellow squash noodles with a light pasta sauce made with roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and garlic. Hello, summer!
I know it is summer time when fresh basil and yellow squash make their appearance at the farmers market. The problem I often run into whenever I buy fresh basil is their shelf life. Basil wilts, grows black spots, and molds so quickly that I find myself scrambling to use them before they go bad.
Over the past few months, I have experimented with this method of storing fresh basil. The key is to treat fresh basil like flowers. Take a fresh bunch of basil, trim the ends and put it in a jar filled with water. Leave the jar of basil in room temperature with a plastic bag loosely covering the entire jar. In theory, this method should keep basil fresh for 1 to 2 weeks.
When I first tried this storage method, I was disappointed to find mold growing within a few days. But in a “well, duh” moment, I realized that I should change the water as I would with flowers. After this minor tweak, the basil has been keeping fresh for a little longer, though its green vibrance will fade.
I made this fresh yellow squash noodle dish to make sure that I use the basil at its peak. I added some sautéed fennel and yellow plum tomatoes for additional flavor. I loved that this dish was bursting with flavor yet light at the same time.
- 1 and 1/2 TBS olive oil
- 5 medium roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes (I used the kind that is not packed in oil)
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
- pinch of sea salt
- 3 large yellow squash
- 2/3 cup yellow plum tomatoes (optional)
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS fresh dill, chopped
- pinch of sea salt
- Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the garlic and tomatoes cut side down. Let the tomatoes cook for 3 minutes before turning them over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat.
- In a food processor or blender, mix the sautéed tomatoes, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and salt until smooth.
- Cut off both ends of each of the yellow squash. Spiralize the squash with Blade C, and chop the noodles several times so that they are easier to eat. Be sure to slice the part of the squash that is not spiralized and mix them with the noodles. NOTE: If you do not own a spiralizer, use a vegetable peeler to create yellow squash ribbons.
- If you are adding fennel to this dish, heat a tablespoon of oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the fennel and sauté them for about 4-5 minutes or until they turn translucent. Season with some fresh dill and salt.
- In a large bowl, mix the noodles and sauce together. Serve with the fennel and plum tomatoes.
- Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container.