Photos and Recipe by Zachary Pacleb of Brothers & Co.
Serves 4-6 as a starter
Cucumber, split lengthwise 1 ea, a little over ⅓ lb.
Ginger, peeled and minced 1.5 Tbs
Garlic cloves, minced 3 ea
Rice Wine Vinegar ⅓ cup
Oil (grapeseed, canola, safflower, etc) ¼ cup
Tahini 1.5 Tbs
Sesame Oil 1 tsp
Salt 2 ½ tsp, or to taste
- Preheat your grill or cast iron pan over high heat.
- Lightly oil the split cucumber and sear over high until well charred but not soggy. It should have a balance of raw and cooked textures. Remove from heat and cool entirely.
- Once cooled, dice into small pieces and place in a blender with the garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, tahini and salt. Blend on high until as smooth as you can get it.
- Slowly stream in the oil and sesame oil to emulsify. Check seasoning with salt and set aside.
To assemble the Salad:
Tomatoes, a mix of shapes colors and varieties are always best
Heirloom Melon, peeled and seeded
Fennel ½ of a head, about ¼ lb
A blend of bitter and hearty greens about 2 cups
Toasted Sesame Seeds ¾ Tbsp
Herbs for Garnish: fennel fronds, shiso, basil, mint or cilantro a loose ¼ cup
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Split the fennel in half again lengthwise, oil lightly and place on the hot grill. Cook until charred and tender. Allow to cool and cut into about ¼ inch pieces across the grain.
- Cut the tomatoes in half if they are large cherries or dice into bite size pieces if larger.
- Dice or slice the melon to match the size of the tomatoes. Mix with the tomatoes and sliced fennel. Add a pinch of salt and a crack of pepper.
- Mix in the herbs, reserving a few for garnish, and greens into the salad and dress with a few tablespoons of the dressing or to your preference. Check for seasoning.
- Transfer to your favorite serving platter and garnish with the remaining herbs and sesame seeds.