This recipe takes summer fruit salad to a whole new level, thanks to a sweet, salty and spicy Thai dressing. It’s from Top Chef alum Gregory Gourdet’s new cookbook, Everyone’s Table, and is a gorgeous addition to your Fourth of July menu. The Asian ingredients typically can be found in a large supermarket’s produce section or in an Asian market. Galangal is ginger’s pungent, citrusy cousin. You can substitute ginger in a pinch, although the flavor will be different. Lemongrass is a common herb used in Southeast Asian cooking. If you can’t find it, substitute lemon zest. To bruise the lemongrass, trim off the top of the stalk, remove a few layers and lightly crush the stalk with a meat mallet or the side of a knife. And red Thai chile adds a real punch to the dressing. You can substitute a milder serrano pepper.
[From the book Everyone’s Table by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Copyright © 2021 by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.]
Watermelon-Berry Salad With Chile Dressing and Lots of Herbs
- ⅓ cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
- ⅓ cup fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp thinly sliced cilantro stems
- 3 Tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ inch knob fresh galangal, peeled and roughly sliced across the grain
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 1 moderate-heat red chile (such as Fresno or ripe red jalapeño), stemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 red Thai chile, stemmed
- 3½ lb watermelon, peeled
- 1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 6 cups mixed fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries and/or hulled and halved strawberries)
- 2 large lemongrass stalks, trimmed, bruised and very thinly sliced
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 big handfuls mixed herbs (mint leaves, trimmed, bruised and very thinly sliced Thai or Italian basil leaves, cilantro sprigs)
Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend on high speed 2 minutes or until smooth. Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 3 days; shake well before using.
Cut watermelon into 3-by-1-by-1-inch sticks, removing seeds as you go. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
In a large bowl, combine chilled watermelon, onion and salt. Add berries, lemongrass and dressing; toss gently to coat. Drizzle with oil, add herbs and gently toss. Arrange on a platter.