Peaches and Tomatoes with Burrata and Hot Sauce


It’s my favorite time of summer — when tomatoes and stone fruit are at their peak. This salad from Bon Appetit takes full advantage of these two stars. You must promise me one thing if making this — get your tomatoes and peaches from a farm stand in the summer. It will just not be the same if you make this in the winter time. It’s not even worth it.

The fresh fruit is dressed with a mixture of hot sauce and rice vinegar with olive oil. It sounds a little weird, but the hot sauce is a nice balance to the sweetness of the fruit. Tarragon garnish adds a little anise flavor. Combine that with the creamy goodness of burrata on top, and this is a dinner in itself. Use sea salt to season.


TW’s Tips

  • You can use peaches or nectarines — I prefer nectarines which is what I used here (no fuzzy skin)
  • I recommend heirloom tomatoes. Try a couple of different colors to amp up the presentation aesthetics
  • You could use a combo of bigger tomatoes sliced and cherry tomatoes halved for some variety in size and shape
  • Buy your burrata at a specialty market (I go to Eataly in NYC) or in the fresh/specialty cheese section of your supermarket
  • This is simple and easy to make but makes a statement! Serve as a starter for a summer dinner party


Peaches and Tomatoes with Burrata and Hot Sauce


  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. mild hot sauce (such as Crystal or Frank’s)
  • 2 tsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 ripe peaches or nectarines, cut into wedges
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes or 1 lb. mixed tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 8-oz. ball burrata or fresh mozzarella, torn into large pieces
  • Tarragon sprigs (for serving)
  • Flaky sea salt


Whisk oil, hot sauce, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl until honey is dissolved; season with kosher salt. Toss peaches, tomatoes, and half of dressing in a medium bowl; let sit 5 minutes.

Transfer fruit salad to a platter. Top with burrata and drizzle with remaining dressing. Scatter a few torn tarragon sprigs over and season with sea salt.


Grilled Shrimp Cocktail with Two Green Sauces


With the typical hot September weather in San Diego (it’s when we get our summer), I broke out the grill so I could avoid heating up the house. I  made these grilled shrimp once before in a grill pan, but they’re even better on a real grill! What makes these so great is how simple and fresh they are — and light, which is ideal for when it’s hot out. You can serve them hot, cold or room temp, and with a wide variety of dips, from the green ones here to cocktail sauce to a vinaigrette. They’ll be a hit, so make a lot.

The green dips here are really fresh and interesting. The Tunisian pesto uses almonds instead of your traditional pine nuts, and parsley and cilantro instead of basil. The chutney has a Mediterranean influence, with kick from a jalapeño, plus ginger, yogurt, mint and cilantro — it’s spicy and herby and delish.


TW’s Tips

  • The dip recipes make a lot — freeze the pesto and serve with salmon or chicken another time.
  • The dips also involve a fair amount of food processor work — make them ahead to save on the headache.
  • Make sure you skewer the shrimp well so they don’t become grill martyrs.
  • I prefer larger shrimp versus medium.
  • Serve with a green salad or as an appetizer.


Grilled Shrimp


  • 1 pound medium shrimp with tails, peeled and deveined
  • Oil or melted butter for grilling
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lime


Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high. Toss shrimp with just enough oil or butter to coat lightly, then season with salt and pepper to taste. If cooking on an open grill grate, thread the shrimp on skewers or place in a grill basket. Grill shrimp under they just curl and are translucent, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Squeeze lime over the shrimp and serve warm or at room temperature with dip.

Tunisian Pesto


  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley (leaves and some stems)
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch Cayenne pepper (optional)


Combine the cilantro, parsley, almonds and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add about 1/3 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the salt and pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 1 cup.

 Fresh Green Chutney


  • 1 1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 scallions (white and green parts) cut into large pieces
  • 1 cup fresh mint (leaves and some stems)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed (with seeds for more heat, without seeds for less)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water (optional)


With the machine running, drop ginger into the bowl of a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add scallions, mint, cilantro, yogurt, jalapeño, lime juice and salt. Process to a textured paste similar in consistency to pesto, adding water to adjust the consistency, if desired.

Tolan’s Mom’s Potato Salad

Here’s another summer favorite — kicked up a notch — from my boyfriend Tyler Florence. The pickles and capers, plus a healthy dose of Dijon mustard, make this potato salad AHH-mazing. It’s just the right amount of sour and salty — by far the best potato salad I’ve ever had. I’ve made this a bunch of times for cookouts and it gets tons of compliments.

I made this the other night for a cookout at my best friend Melissa’s house. Her husband Jason was just back from a dove hunting trip (that’s right, dove) and he was grilling it up. It sounds weird and horrible but it was actually quite good — you just have to get beyond the whole dove thing. And no, they’re not the white doves you release at weddings. (As my dad said, “Tell him he’s heartless!”)

Jason skewered the dove with a piece of pineapple and wrapped it in turkey bacon, and grilled it up with some peppers and onions. Another one he wrapped up with a pepperocini. Not bad at all! And the potato salad was a nice little accompaniment.

TW’s Tips

  • I’m not a big red onion fan so I use about half (or even less) the amount of onion than the recipe calls for — still plenty as far as I’m concerned
  • I like how he suggests breaking up the potatoes by hand instead of cutting them with a knife — it’s more rustic and homey

Tolan’s Mom’s Potato Salad


  • 2 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 bunch sliced scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles with 1/4 cup juice, about 2 pickles
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Put the potatoes and eggs into a big saucepan of cold salted water. Bring to a simmer. After 12 minutes remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and let cool. Continue cooking the potatoes until a paring knife poked into them goes in without resistance, about 3 minutes longer. Drain the potatoes in a colander and let them cool.

Reserve some scallion greens and capers for garnish. Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pickles and their juice, onion, remaining scallions and capers, parsley, and lemon juice in a bowl large enough to hold the potatoes. Peel the cool eggs and grate them into the bowl. Stick a fork into the potatoes and lift them 1 at a time out of the colander. Break up the potatoes by hand into rough chunks, add them to the bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving.