have you heard of vidcon? if you watch youtube as much as i do (i’m hoping for your sake that you don’t), then you have. and if you haven’t, it’s essentially a youtube convention. in the past, i lowkey wanted to go, but time, willingness to pay, etc got in the way. i received an email about it a couple of months ago, and upon seeing the subject thought it was some sort of promo. buy your pass now and get it for the low price of $i want your money so that you can mob a select number of internet celebrities! and then i realized it was from my boss. you know, the one who got it approved for me to go with her to said convention. hyped was an understatement, even though i was doing that crazy, leave school in socal, go home to the bay area for less than a week, then go back to socal thing. (i did it last year too).
the perks for this internship are pretty great (free trip to vidcon, free housing in sf, too much free food, free trip to hq in the middle of nowhere in a few weeks), but even aside from that, i feel really fortunate to be a part of a really great company culture. i know how the company is doing (the lack of transparency at one of my previous internships was alienating to myself and the other interns), the full-time employees actually seem to care about and value the interns, and the interns are all super friendly. there was one night when we went out for numbingly spicy chinese noodles and waited til all of the food came out to take overhead shots and shared too much food and got boba and it was fantastic. or when we all converged on one of the science intern’s apartments in the name of watching game of thrones and eating too much har gao and strawberries and ice cream, and stayed late even though it was a sunday night. i feel lucky that what could be my last internship is turning out to be my best one yet.
but yes, too much good food, so i really need to be getting back to fruit and vegetables and things that aren’t drowned in chili oil. tomato nectarine salad with tofu cream? yes, i’ll eat a couple platefuls.
i’ve cut the nectarine, tomato and watermelon into rounds but if you’re more relaxed about how your salads look (aka me when i’m not trying to take semi-nice pictures), then don’t worry about trying to cut slabs of watermelon and then using a circle cutter to punch out perfect watermelon pieces. the dressing is essentially seasoned, blended silken tofu. which sounds crazy, but it’s surprisingly thick and rich and filling. i’ve tested out greek yogurt too, which works, though it’s not nearly the same as tofu. feta, almonds and herbs round out this salad that’s perfect for summer, even if you aren’t trying to resist the temptations of free office food and city delicacies.
- 8 oz silken tofu
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 4 T Sherry vinegar
- 2 T soy sauce
- 3 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 slices from a large watermelon
- 4 medium heirloom tomatoes can mix up what kind of tomatoes, sliced
- 2 medium nectarines pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh is best but frozen can work in a pinch
- fresh basil, fresh mint, toasted sliced almonds, crumbled feta for serving
Blend the tofu, sesame oil, fish sauce, 2 T vinegar and 1 T soy sauce in a blender until smooth; season with salt.
Whisk the olive oil, 2 T vinegar, and 1 T soy sauce in a large bowl; season with salt. Add the produce and toss to combine. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Cut rounds out of the watermelon so that they're similar in size to the tomato and nectarine slices. I recommend using the rim of a cup, or a cookie cutter, though a knife and a steady hand could work if you're confident. I find it easiest to have thick slices of watermelon and then cut them to the right thickness once you have the diameter you want.
Swipe the tofu cream on a platter and arrange the salad on top. Garnish with the herbs, almonds and feta.
Adapted slightly from Ari Kolender of Leon's Oyster Shop (Charleston, SC) via Bon Appetit, July 2015.
If you don't want to plate the salad like this, you can use 1 cup cubed watermelon, which is much easier than getting cross sections of the watermelon, and then cutting circles out of that.
This serves about 8 as an appetizer with a serving size similar to what's pictured, or about 3-4 for lunch. Calorie count is calculated for 8 servings.