Executive chef Chris Peterson shares his favorite Thai-inspired summer recipe
For the chicken
2 stalks of fresh lemongrass,
pale inner core only, minced
1 tablespoon coriander seed, cracked
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
¼ cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, butterflied
For the dressing
4 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
¼ cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
For the salad
2 pounds seedless watermelon, cut into balls of various sizes (about 3 cups)
2 heirloom tomatoes, cored,
cut into half-inch pieces
½ pound of green cabbage, thinly sliced
(or lettuce of your choice)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped mint
In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, coriander, lime juice, oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the chicken and turn to coat. Let it marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Light a grill, and oil the grates. Season the chicken with more salt and pepper. Grill the chicken over moderately high heat, turning once, until cooked through and lightly charred, about six minutes. Let cool slightly. Then shred chicken into strips by hand.
In a food processor, combine the Thai chiles, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and ¼ cup water. Pulse until the chiles and garlic are finely chopped. Pour the dressing over the chicken and cabbage. Stir in the watermelon, tomatoes, cilantro and mint.
Neatly arrange the salad in the center of four cold salad plates, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and mint and then garnish with a lime wedge.
A delicious bottle of rosé wine, or better yet a pitcher of mojitos.