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2 medium-sized ripe tomatoes (I used beefsteak but heirlooms work great too)
2 cups of diced watermelon
3-4 pickled peperoncini peppers, plus a teaspoon of their brine
1 Tbsp olive oil
Wash and dry your tomatoes. I like to then give them a slight chill by putting them in the fridge for a half hour.
Place the tomatoes on a cutting board stem side down. Using a sharp knife (you can also use a serrated knife but the edge won't be quite as clean), cut them into bite-sized pieces, removing any bits of tough and flavorless core (the white part).
Transfer to a large bowl and add the watermelon pieces, chopped peperoncini and brine, olive oil, and a teaspoon or so of Shabazi. Mix gently, then taste and add a bit more brine or Shabazi if you like.
Transfer to a chilled platter or individual bowls and top with a bit of salt and Shabazi and garnish with mint leaves.
• If you end up with tomatoes that are a bit flat tasting (low acid), try slicing them in half, brushing them with brown butter mixed with white or red miso and Lula N.41, then giving the slices a brief broil to char them a bit before chopping them and adding to the salad.
• Other fresh herbs work great rather than the mint (for example basil). I like using musk melon in this case and adding a bit of balsamic vinegar for its savory notes.
• For a crowd I like to double or triple this dish and serve it as a platter. Slice the tomatoes into 1/2" thick slices (if you do this top to bottom they will be more elegant and easier to core), same with the watermelon, aim to have pieces the same size as the tomato slices. Mix the remaining ingredients in small bowl and pour the dressing over the slices, then top with mint leaves and seasonal flowers.
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue. Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org