Now that spring in full swing, our home gardens are producing and the farmer’s market brings new varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables every week. With such delicious ingredients at our fingertips, we’ve been on the lookout for recipes that allow us to incorporate them and let their natural and distinct flavors stand out. Fortunately, Kathy Mangham, chef and owner of GOURMET GIRLS catering in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was willing to share a recipe that does just that. In her Tomato and Cucumber Zahtar Salad, Mangham, who takes a seasonal and local approach to her dishes, using what’s available from producers in her area at every opportunity, combines fresh and flavorful elements with seasonings that delicately enhance them. The result is a salad that’s not just pleasing to the palate, it also looks pretty on the plate (that’s our finished product, above). Here’s how to make it at home:
TOMATO CUCUMBER ZAHTAR SALAD
3 Kumato tomatoes*, quartered
1 Persian cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 tablespoon. fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra vigin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
6 fresh mint leaves, julienned
1 teaspoon zahtar
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Pinch of coarse ground black pepper
Instructions: Toss all ingredients in a serving bowl and mix to combine. Serve at room temperature.
*Editor’s note: You can substitute your favorite type of fresh, slightly sweet tomato if you prefer.
For more inspiration and images of Gourmet Girls’ exquisite work—including intricate and gilded cakes you have to see to believe—check out their INSTAGRAM feed. And if you’re in Baton Rouge, stop by their shop on Perkins Road to enjoy their confections in person.
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