Here's the perfect side and standout companion for the festive and summer entertaining season: my Fresh Tomatoes and Peaches with a Sizzled Fennel Seed and Chili Olive Oil Dressing.
It has the perfect mix of everything I want in a side dish—a medley of salty, spicy, sweet, acidic, creamy, crunchy, and toasty goodness.
Not only is this side incredibly delicious, but you'll also be surprised by how effortlessly this striking dish comes together.
The fennel seeds, sesame seeds, and mild chili flakes (I personally prefer Aleppo pepper) are sizzled in olive oil until lightly toasted, crafting a roasty, crunchy seed dressing that beautifully complements the acidity of tomatoes and the sweetness of peaches.
All the ingredients are then artfully stacked on a smear of luscious sour cream—oh, so good.
I've opted for heirloom tomatoes, yet any large, ripe tomatoes will work just as well. The same flexibility applies to peaches; while I prefer yellow, white peaches or even nectarines make for excellent alternatives if yellow peaches are unavailable.
For those planning to bring this salad on the go, the dressing can be prepared in advance on the same day, left at room temperature, and then drizzled over the salad when it's time to serve.
Hope you love this one, and please let me know if you make it @gatherandfeast.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds (I’ve used black)
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or mild chili flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1 clove garlic, finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3 large heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped into large chunks
- 4 ripe yellow peaches, roughly chopped into large chunks
- In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, and Aleppo pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and 'sizzle' until the fennel seeds are just golden and fragrant. Be attentive, as this will happen quickly (approximately 30 seconds to a minute).
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the sliced garlic and flaky salt. Stir to combine; the garlic will sizzle and mellow from the residual heat in the oil. Set aside.
- Smear the sour cream onto a large serving plate.
- Top the sour cream with the chopped tomatoes and peaches.
- Sprinkle a little flaky sea salt over the tomatoes.
- Spoon the warm fennel seed dressing over the entire salad.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- If you can’t get heirloom tomatoes, any large ripe tomatoes will work perfectly.
- Ensure your tomatoes are at room temperature and haven't been stored in the fridge, as this can affect their flavour and texture. It's best to keep them on the bench. If preparing the tomatoes and peaches in advance, simply keep the chopped tomatoes covered at room temperature until ready to use.
- If you’re preparing this salad to take somewhere, the dressing can be made ahead of time on the same day and kept at room temperature, then drizzled over the salad when ready to serve.
- Leftover salad can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- If you prefer a lighter option, thick unsweetened Greek yogurt can be substituted for sour cream.