Farmers Market Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lemon and Dill

updated Aug 26, 2020
Farmers Market Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lemon and Dill

This vibrant stir-fry celebrates just-picked summer produce, including summer squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers.


Prep16 minutes

Cook3 minutes to 5 minutes

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Credit: Christine Han

I love farmers markets, with their gorgeous piles of seasonal veggies and fragrant herbs beckoning at every turn. I’m lucky that I live in walking distance to both NYC’s fabulous Union Square Green Market and Chinatown — it’s the best of both worlds. Several times a week I head to the farmers market to buy what’s in season.

Vegetables that have just been harvested are at their peak flavor and ideal for stir-frying — the high heat and quick cooking punches up the flavor so you barely need seasonings. Sure, you can stir-fry vegetables year-round, but fresh-picked summer and autumn produce are extra special, and you certainly don’t need to limit yourself to Asian vegetables. Carrots, zucchini, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes are equally as wonderful as bok choy and long beans.

Credit: Christine Han

The Dos and Don’ts of Stir-Frying Vegetables

First, start with fresh vegetables. Ice crystals from frozen veggies will cause the oil to spatter, and the icy vegetables will cool down the wok, turning your stir-fry into a braise.

For this same reason, you’ll want to pat your fresh vegetables very dry, then cut them into uniform slices or cubes so they’ll cook evenly. First into the sizzling hot wok go the aromatics (like ginger, garlic, shallots, or onions) — stir-fry a few seconds until swooningly fragrant. Next come the hardest veggies — carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and the like, to stir-fry for a minute or so. Then, for another minute, the medium-hard (zucchini, bell peppers and beans). And finally — ta da! — tender, leafy vegetables (like bean sprouts and cut corn). Done! Scoop! Serve!

Credit: Christine Han

Seasoning Your Summer Stir-Fry

Adding just a teaspoon or two of soy sauce to a stir-fry produces that intense earthy flavor called umami, but without the taste of soy. Try flavoring vegetables with fresh herbs — dill, cilantro, basil, even pesto — or a little grated Parmesan cheese. A squeeze of lemon sparks more flavor, but add it after you’ve scooped the stir-fry out of the wok. Acidic ingredients will spoil your wok’s nonstick patina. 

Farmers Market Vegetable Stir-Fry with Lemon and Dill

This vibrant stir-fry celebrates just-picked summer produce, including summer squash, tomatoes, and bell peppers.

Prep time 16 minutes

Cook time 3 minutes to 5 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2 tablespoons

    dry sherry

  • 1 teaspoon

    soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    granulated sugar

  • 2 cloves


  • 1

    medium carrot

  • 2

    small zucchini or yellow squash

  • 1

    small green bell pepper

  • 1 cup

    cherry tomatoes

  • 2

    medium scallions

  • 1/4 cup

    chopped fresh dill

  • 2 tablespoons

    peanut or grapeseed oil

  • 2 tablespoons

    freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Place 2 tablespoons sherry and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in a small bowl. Place 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar in a small dish or bowl.

  2. Smash 2 garlic cloves. Cut 1 carrot crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds (about 1 cup). Cut 2 small zucchini or yellow squash crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Trim and cut 1 small green bell pepper into 1/4-inch wide strips. Halve 1 cup cherry tomatoes. Thinly slice 2 medium scallions. Coarsely chop 1/4 cup fresh dill.

  3. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 2 tablespoons oil, add the garlic, and stir-fry until fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the carrots and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and stir-fry until the bell pepper is bright green, about 1 minute.

  4. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle on the salt mixture. Drizzle the sherry mixture into the pan and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the scallions and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add the dill and stir-fry until just combined.

  5. Transfer to a serving bowl. Just before serving, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and toss to combine.

Recipe Notes

Sugar: You can omit the sugar. I like the 1/4 teaspoon because it enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Make ahead: The vegetables can be prepped up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated.

Grace Young’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge is Kitchn’s August pick for our Cookbook Club (see how you can participate here). For a great introduction to Grace, check out her video The Wok Therapist, winner of the 2020 James Beard Digital Award.