Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Watermelon and Tomato Salad
Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad: Outstanding as a side dish, or a light main dish.

Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

  • Watermelon, cut in chunks
  • Tomatoes (MUST have flavor — see notes below)
  • Goat cheese, simple, crumbled
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sweet basil
  • Cashews, roasted, unsalted
  • (Base quantities on the other things you plan to serve. If this is a side dish, a couple of slices of tomato and four small chunks of watermelon per person, or more — as desired).

Arrange sliced tomatoes and watermelon on plate. I like a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on the tomatoes only. Be very light with the oil. Crumble goat cheese over the watermelon and tomatoes. Sprinkle on a few cashews. Then add basil. The little baby leaves are best for this — add three or four. If the basil leaves are large, cut them into smaller pieces.

**** It’s really imperative that the tomatoes have good flavor. I’ve had good luck with yellow heirloom tomatoes this summer. Campari tomatoes are typically pretty good. I have used small grape tomatoes in a pinch. And, if you cannot get good tomatoes, this salad with just the watermelon is still great.

The olive oil came from the Ornellaia vineyards in the Bolgheri region of Tuscany. Ornellaia makes extraordinary wine. I heartily recommend their Serra Nuove. The olive oil . . . well, you have to visit the winery in Tuscany. An excuse to return :-).

Watermelon and Tomato Salad



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Francesca Cooks: Pasta of the Maremma

Pasta with fish cooked in a shellfish stock

I originally posted this on my Francesca Bergamasco site. This recipe took me four or five tries to work out completely, since I was working from a taste memory. I finally got it, have cooked it several times now — and it was well worth the effort to get the recipe right!

Francesca Bergamasco

Lunch on the Tuscan Coast Beautiful mid-week day in June.

Having lunch on the Tuscan Coast Pasta on the seaside. Bellissimo!

When I was in Italy a couple of months ago, I had a fabulous pasta that was cooked in a seafood broth. When I say this what I mean is that the pasta was not cooked separately and then tossed in the broth. It was cooked in the broth. The ingredients were simple. The taste was rich, amazing. Unforgettable. I came home determined to replicate the dish. It’s taken six tries and two months, but here it is. And it was worth every minute of effort.

I have spent a great deal of time in Italy in the last two years. Certainly, the way I cook Italian food has changed dramatically. I’ve taken lessons with a wonderful woman in Florence — Firenze, and she has been like having an Italian, I would say Mom, but really more like a big…

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