Olive Magazine

CHOW BELLA

Norma is the first restaurant project from the Stafford London hotel and culinary director Ben Tish. It takes its influence from Sicily and in particular the Moorish influences of the island’s cuisine (normalondon.com).

Watermelon, chicory and salty pecorino salad with toasted pistachios and fennel herb

30 MINUTES | SERVES 4-6 | EASY

Watermelons are the perfect food for a hot day – fresh, juicy, vibrant and cooling. They are nature’s antidote to the sweltering heat. This salad is one of my favourites, a very simple dish that is typical of the way Sicilians put things together, with seasonal produce at its best. It transports me straight back to long summer lunches both in Sicily and at home.

watermelon 1 small
red chicory 2 small heads, stalks trimmed, leaves separated and large ones halved
moscatel vinegar or white balsamic 50ml
pistachios (preferably green Iranian) 65g
aged pecorino (such as sardo, or a good aged parmesan) 150g, cut into irregular shards
groundnut oil 70ml
fennel fronds, fennel herb or dill a handful

• Cut the melon in half through the width and reserve half for another use. Peel the other half of skin and the white pith, and then dice the flesh into 2cm pieces and put in a bowl along with the chicory leaves, season with salt and pepper, and mix in the vinegar.

• Put a frying pan over a medium heat and toss in the pistachios, dry cooking for a few minutes, tossing, until they are fragrant and have started to release their

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