The last week of 90-degree temperatures has sealed the deal: it’s peak tomato season. We look forward to this time of year like others wait for Christmas or Shark Week, and our general philosophy when it comes to these primo tomatoes is to do as little to them as possible. We smash them raw on bread with salt, chop them with garlic and toss ’em with pasta and olive oil, or simply slice them into a salad. The crew at MOMED, short for Modern Mediterranean, share our point of view. The casual Beverly Hills spot has just opened a second location in Atwater Village with a vibrant lineup of summer mezze inspired by the cuisines of Greece, Turkey, Morocco, and Israel. The café’s heirloom tomato salad pairs the perfect fruit with grilled plums and a watermelon vinaigrette—because the only thing we get more excited about than tomato season is melon season.
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Grilled Stone Fruits and Watermelon Vinaigrette
(Serves 2 to 3)
For the Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup fresh watermelon juice from whole watermelon
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons mint, chopped
- Start with the watermelon juice in a bowl and whisk in all of the other ingredients and season to taste with salt.
For the Salad:
- 2 Large, ripe heirloom tomatoes
- 4 red flesh plums
- Mint sprigs for garnish
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut the plums in half leaving the skins on, coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the plums on a hot grill flesh side down and grill just enough to get grill marks and to impart some grill flavor (2-3 minutes). Set aside and let cool.
- To build the salad, core the tomato and slice into ½ inch wedges and place in a bowl.
- o the same with the plums and dress with the vinaigrette, season with salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.
- Garnish with small mint sprigs and serve.
MOMED, 233 S. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-270-4444. Also at Atwater Crossing, 3245 Casitas Ave., Atwater Village