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Tomato and Watermelon Skewers (Pinchitos de Tomate con Sandia)

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Today Ferran Adrià is known as the most complex, avant-garde chef in the world—a Salvador Dalí of cuisine, as The New York Times put it. He's all that and more. Ferran has helped a whole generation of younger chefs like José Andreés to think the unthinkable and to dream up dishes that were once impossible. Andrés was lucky enough to work with Ferran at his landmark restaurant el Bulli in Rosas, Spain. The truth is that, more often than not, Ferran innovates by simplifying dishes, not by making them more intricate. That's the philosophy behind this tapas skewer of tomato and watermelon—that Ferran dreamt up a decade ago. It's simple, refreshing and perfectly balanced between the acidity of the tomatoes and the sweetness of the watermelon.

Plus: More Vegetable Recipes and Tips

  1. Seedless watermelon, cut into 2-inch cubes
  2. 8 plum tomatoes, with the seeds, prepared as "fillets"
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  6. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  7. Sea salt
  8. Fresh herbs or herb flowers (such as lavender or borage), for garnish
  1. On bamboo skewers, alternate the watermelon cubes and tomato-seed fillets. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the oil, vinegar and half of the lemon zest to make the dressing. Arrange the skewers on a serving plate and pour the dressing on top. Sprinkle with sea salt, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest and the herb flowers. Serve immediately.
Notes José's tips: Ideally, you should use a microplane for zesting the lemon. If you don't have a microplane, use a very fine grater. Also, if you want to save time, you can use cherry tomatoes instead of the tomatoes with seeds.
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