Recipe Box: Tomato Watermelon Salad


Let me tell you what really burns my ass. It's walking around our neighborhood and catching glimpses of people's withering, neglected gardens overflowing with ripe tomatoes. They're falling off the vines, rotting in the grass, and rolling into alleyways to be nibbled by squirrels. What happens to a person between the time they earnestly plant a garden in spring and let it fall to the wayside as soon as it bears fruit? Are they the same ones who toss up their arms and say, "I just have more tomatoes than I know what to do with!" I never understood that sentiment. Whatever their reasons, a garden heist seems to be in order. Stolen fruit tastes sweet.

I need no convincing to become a garden caper, but this recipe definitely sweetens the deal. You do not need to commit crime to enjoy this salad. It's a perfectly acceptable excuse to enjoy the last fruits of summer, preferably from your own garden.

Tomato Watermelon Salad
Recipe adapted from Pintxos: Small Plates in the Basque Tradition 

3 heirloom tomatoes, assorted in colors
1 english cucumber
1 cup watermelon
1 Hass avocado, pitted
2 tbsp chopped, fresh herbs (I like to use basil and chives)
1/4 tsp coriander seed
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Cut all of the fruits and vegetables into neat, 1/2" cubes. Combine in a large bowl.
Grind the coriander seeds in a spice mill and add to salad, along with the herbs.
In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and vinegar. Pour over the salad, toss gently, and season with salt and pepper.

For something special, I like to arrange the cubes on individual plates like little mosaics.

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