Not too long ago in the sweltering summers of New York, I would take great pleasure in devouring delicious chunks of overripe watermelon to tame the heat of the concrete jungle. Child like and ever so carefree, I would allow the juice to run from my mouth, down my chin and onto to my shirt. It was one of the savoring pleasures of those brutal scorching months.
As I consumed my fruitful flesh fantasy, I would collect the black seeds in a small cup. When I finished, I would place the slippery seeds between the tips of my thumb, index and middle fingers and squeeze the seeds out one at a time, improving my aim and distance with every shot. Someone from HR later described this pastime as “harassment” and not becoming for a senior manger. Whatever dude.
Today, many of the watermelons sold at supermarkets don’t have seeds. They’re seedless watermelons. How sad. It’s sad to see the seeds go, but I’m glad to see the return of watermelon season.
I have completely ripped off Gerald’s Hiroigoyen’s recipe from Pintxos. It is an amazing book and I strongly recommend it for its beautiful traditional Basque recipes and equally captivating photography. I must also say, this is an outstanding dish. I didn’t think all of these components would go together, but they do. It is phenomenal salad.
- 3 or 4 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors, cored and cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 1 small English cucumber, peeled and seeded and cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 1 cup yellow or red seedless watermelon, cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 1 avocado, halved pitted, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: basil, tarragon, chives or cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado and herbs.
- In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a fine powder. Add the ground coriander to the tomato mixture and toss gently.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil , balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly.
- Taste and adjust seasoning before serving.
Suggested serving: Hiroigoyen suggests a fine Riesling, but I think any good dry white wine would do.