This is a favourite summer salad and one that I have been making in different guises for many years. Make it when fresh tomatillos are in season, or at a pinch use blanched gooseberries for a similar zingy taste. The sweetness of the dressing and tartness of the fruit are in sprightly contrast to the creamy burrata. I like to throw over a sprinkle of almonds tossed in a pan with the chilli-lime-salt so loved in Mexico. Raspy, chilli-spiked, sugar-crusted almonds; creamy burrata; sweet, sharp tomatoes; good olive oil; fresh lime. Mamma.
Cook time: 30 minutes
Photography: Tara Fisher
Food Styling: Kitty Coles & El Kemp
2 shallots, finely diced
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
zest and juice of 1 lime
240g fresh tomatillos, washed
250g mixed tomatoes, the best that you can find
30–40g (1–11/2oz) mixed soft herbs, like tarragon, mint and dill, finely chopped
1 large ball, or a few smaller ones, of burrata or mozzarella
75g crème fraîche
2 tbsp good olive oil
salt and pepper
For the nuts
50g skin-on almonds
1 heaped tsbp chilli-lime salt
For the chilli-lime salt
10g piquín chillies or Urfa chilli flakes
10g fine sea salt
100g caster sugar
zest of 1 lime
To make the chilli-lime-salt, blitz the chillies with the salt in a spice grinder or small food processor, then stir in the sugar and lime zest.
Mix the finely diced shallots with the cider vinegar, sugar, salt and lime juice. Leave for 10 minutes to soften while you prepare the tomatillos.
Peel the tomatillos of their husks and wipe with a clean, damp dish towel. Cut the tomatillos into paper-thin slices and the tomatoes into thin slices and various-sized wedges. The tomatillos are tart, so they particularly benefit from being cut into slighter pieces. Mix the lot with the lime zest and the chopped herbs, reserving a small amount to garnish. Once the shallot mixture has been sitting quietly for its time, pour over the tomatoes.
Heat a small frying pan and add the almonds. Toast gently until starting to colour lightly. At this point, sprinkle 1tsp chilli-lime-salt over and toast for another minute or two until it has formed a light sugar crust over the almonds. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Tear apart the burrata or mozzarella into large bite-size pieces and gently mix in the crème fraîche, half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange this in the middle of a pretty serving plate with the fruit around it. Drizzle the lot with the last of the olive oil and scatter over the reserved chopped herbs and the toasted nuts. Eat in the sunshine with a spectacular glass of chilled white wine.
In her years of living in and exploring Mexico, Thomasina Miers came to learn that the country is megadiverse, with an incredible diversity of fruit and vegetables. This book is her homage to vegetarian Mexican cooking, fusing the flavours of Mexico with British seasonal ingredients, every dish is delicious, colourful and vibrant. Photography by Tara Fisher.