Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Charred summer chiles and cucumbers with herbs and tahini

With its unusual combination of flavors and textures, this salad is picnic fare that could easily command the spotlight at a party.

Chef Kendra Baker
The Picnic Basket, Santa Cruz

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1/8 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. tamari
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 sweet summer chile peppers (such as Corno di Toro, Jimmy Nardello, Fresno or padron)
1/4 cup tahini
Juice of 2 lemons
3 tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
1 cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
1 pickled Fresno chile, thinly sliced into rounds
1/2 bunch mint, chiffonade
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, toss seeds with tamari and olive oil. Place on a sheet pan, lightly sprayed with nonstick spray. Roast for 5 minutes or until toasted, stirring as needed to avoid burning. Set aside.

Trim the tops off the summer chile peppers and discard the seeds inside. Roast peppers over the flame of a burner until charred. Let cool, then tear into pieces.

In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, water, salt and garlic.

To serve, place charred peppers and cucumber slices on a platter. Drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with seeds, pickled Fresno chiles and herbs.

Serves 8

Photo: © 2018 Richard Green

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