Melon, tomato and mozzarella with two chillies
This is perfect for a hot day; it’s cooling and invigorating all at once. This offbeat salad uses one of my new discoveries in the kitchen: pickled red peppers. You can buy them jarred, ranging from mild to hot. I go for the hot, slightly sweet ones, which add a perky, enlivening hit of sunny spice for very little effort. The second chilli is the Scotch bonnet, and their flavour always makes me think of the rich fragrance of cantaloupe melon; I’m not sure why it took me so long to pair them up. This salad is a meal in itself; all you need is a couple of slices of good toasted bread to pile everything on to.
600g ripe mixed tomatoes
600g sweet, ripe cantaloupe melon
2 unwaxed limes
50g pickled peppers
1 Scotch bonnet
a small bunch of basil
extra virgin olive oil
2 x 120g balls of buffalo mozzarella
First cut all your tomatoes into different-sized chunks and pieces, the more irregular the better. Deseed the melon and use a spoon
to scoop it out into little petals, then put it all into a bowl and add a generous pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper, the juice of both the limes and the zest of one.
Roughly chop the pickled peppers and finely chop the Scotch bonnet. Add these to the bowl with the basil leaves and a good drizzle of the olive oil (roughly 3 tablespoons).
Tear the mozzarella on to a plate and scatter the salad around it. Eat with a glass of ice-cold pale rosé.
IMAGE: Ana Cuba