This is the salad I fix over and over again all through the summer, Ismail Merchant's Mirch aur Tamatur Salaad.
About every third day, we have enough sweet little cherry tomatoes ready to pick in the garden. I cut two or three jalapeños and a serrano pepper and clip a handful of parsley...
and I'm ready to make an easy salad that is so tasty.
Our favorite tomato for this is the Super Sweet 100. Next year we're going to plant two or three of these.
The most important part of cooking is to satisfy the taste buds and give the stomach what it yearns for.
This cold tasty salad is wonderful with any hot summer meal.
You simply slice a cherry tomato in half, chop or slice chilies, chop a handful of parsley, and although Ismail doesn't call for it, I slice a few scallions too. Mix with the tomatoes and chill in fridge.
Mix the dressing before serving and pour over:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I use Maille)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
A pinch of salt and a pinch of cayenne
That's it, and enough for two of us, so double or triple if needed. And be sure not to pour the dressing over until you're ready to serve it.
I have to mention that Ismail was, of course, half of the wonderful Merchant Ivory Films, with James Ivory, my favorite of which are:
A Room with a View
The Remains of the Day
But I also love Mr. and Mrs. Bridge with Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman.
Another favorite recipe from Merchant's Passionate Meals is his Baked Spicy Beefburgers that I serve on top of a salad instead of as a sandwich.
I've spiced Ismail's burger up a little more--
To a couple pounds of lean ground beef I add:
2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 medium beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, cumin, coriander and salt, and a couple tablespoons of chopped parsley.
Mix well, shape into patties, place on greased baking sheet (with rim to catch juices), and bake about 20 minutes at 450 degrees.
Serve on a salad with a good vinaigrette of your choice.