Watermelon, Mozzarella, and Sumac Salad

Watermelon, Mozzarella, and Sumac Salad

Watermelon, Mozzarella, and Sumac Salad is refreshing, flavorful, and holds a few surprises.

Normally, you'll see watermelon salad with feta and mint, but why not mix it up? Here, I used cubed fresh mozzarella, but you can go with burrata or halloumi! I'm not a big mint fan and used windowsill grown basil instead. The two other unexpected flavors were chili oil (if you like the heat!) and the lemony flavor from sumac.

Watermelon, Mozzarella, and Sumac Salad
watermelon, cubed
fresh mozzarella, cubed
fresh basil, torn
red onion, thinly sliced
chili olive oil

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Serve.


Caesar(ish) Salad With Air Fryer Chickpeas

Salad with croutons, cheese, avocado, and crispy chickpeas

In the last few weeks, it seems that everywhere I look, I see Caesar Salad (mainly talking about my twin Anna and my friend Emily). A few days ago I decided to create my own version, but add air fryer chickpeas (because my brother sent me an air fryer lid for my pressure cooker for my birthday) and a few other ingredients. I also used ricotta salata instead of Parmesan.

Caesar(ish) Salad With Air Fryer Chickpeas

Boston lettuce, torn into pieces


avocado, sliced

ricotta salata thinly sliced using a vegetable peeler

Caesar dressing (from a bottle)

air fryer chickpeas (drain and pat chickpeas with a paper towel to remove any moisture, then spray with olive oil and cook in your air fryer at 400 degrees for about 10 to 12 minutes shaking the basket occasionally. season with salt)

This is one of my fat ass salads and was quite satisfying! I'm sure you can figure out how to assemble it yourself ;)


Olive Oil Citrus Cake With Candied Tangerine Peel

Olive oil citrus cake topped with crystallized tangerine zest, blueberries, and powdered sugar

Back in the summer I tested a recipe for Olive Oil (Citrus) Cake for Polina Chesnakova's upcoming cookbook Piece of Cake and loved it so much, I made it again this past weekend but with a few changes.  

Instead of making the cake in a round pan as the recipe called for, I divided the batter into two loaf pans and baked the rectangular cakes for about 10 minutes shorter. I also topped each cake with candied tangerine peel. This was my first time making candied citrus peel, and I followed Domenica Marchetti's recipe but cut the time for each step by half because I used an oxo zester to make ribbons of tangerine skin which were quite a bit thinner than the orange peel Domenica used in her recipe. 

Scattered with fresh blueberries and heavily dusted with powdered sugar, this was such an easy to make but satisfying dessert to share with a few friends. The ingredients included buttermilk, olive oil (of course), citrus zest, and eggs, just to name a few. You'll not need any special equipment nor hours to put this cake together.

I guess you'll just have to wait for the book to come out!


Indo Thai Curry With Broccoli And Paneer

Bowl of curry with broccoli, carrots, and paneer

It's a rainy Sunday morning here in Arlington, VA, and I thought I'd share a recipe with you I made yesterday. When I say a recipe, it's mostly my recollection of the ingredients and the steps I took to make this Indo Thai Curry With Broccoli And Paneer.

It all started with a bunch of produce I had and a block of paneer I bought weeks earlier. I wanted something that would be of comfort, not too long to make, and do well as leftovers.

The Indo part of the recipe, as an Indian, comes from mustard seeds, cumin seeds, paneer, and cilantro. The Thai part is lime leaves, coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, and fish sauce. Of course all these ingredients are widely used in a multitude of cuisines.

Indo Thai Curry With Broccoli And Paneer


olive oil

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 head broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

2 carrots, peeled, sliced on diagonal into 1/4" pieces

14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained and pureed (I drank the liquid)

14.5 ounce can coconut milk

1-2 tablespoons red Thai curry paste

lime leaves (mine were old, so I used a bunch of them)

1 block paneer, cut into cubes

fish sauce to taste

salt to taste

1-2 cups defrosted peas

To serve: Basmatti rice, lime wedges, chopped roasted cashews, chopped cilantro


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add cumin and mustard seeds and saute for a few minutes. Add ginger, broccoli, and carrots, and saute for about 5 minutes.

2. Add pureed tomatoes and coconut milk, red Thai curry paste, and lime leaves. Mix to combine.

3. Nestle in cubed paneer, a few dashes of fish sauce and a pinch of salt. Simmer covered for 10 minutes.

4. Taste. Adjust for seasoning. Simmer a bit longer if your vegetables aren't tender enough for your liking.

5. Add defrosted peas and simmer until they are warmed through.

6. Serve the curry on top of Basmatti rice with a wedge of lime and topped with cashews and cilantro.

You can go to town when it comes to variations: use whichever vegetables you have on hand, tofu instead of paneer, green curry instead of red, zoodles instead of rice.

My favorite part of this dish is the flavorful sauce! 


Yogurt With Frozen Cherries, Halva & Honey Roasted Pepper Cashews

Yogurt With Frozen Cherries, Halva & Honey Roasted Pepper Cashews

Yogurt With Frozen Cherries, Halva & Honey Roasted Pepper Cashews is such a simple but elegant dessert or breakfast or a late afternoon snack. I really don't care when you decide to eat it, just do me a favor and make it!

It all started with my sister Anna making Lily Diamond's maple black pepper almonds. Well, I did not have almonds or maple syrup, but I had a large Costco container of cashews my parents sent me. I also had frozen cherries I bought on my trip to Costco with my friend Jazmin, strained yogurt I made from putting regular yogurt into a fine mesh, and seeded halva Hebel & Co sent me as a sample. 

To make the Honey Roasted Pepper Cashews

1) on a medium heat in a non stick skillet combine about a cup of cashews with quarter cup of honey, a few pinches of black pepper and red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt

2) heat the ingredients on medium heat for about 4 minutes without burning them until the nuts are well toasted and golden brown in color

3) immediately spoon the mixture onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and separate the clusters  

4) season the nuts with extra salt

Yogurt With Frozen Cherries, Halva & Honey Roasted Pepper Cashews 

1) spoon yogurt onto a plate

2) top with crumbled halva

3) top with chopped frozen cherries

4) add honey roasted pepper cashews

Honey Roasted Pepper Cashews


Mango & Blueberries Napoleon

Stacked puffed pastry with buttercream, mango, and blueberries

Last week was my friend Sindy's birthday and I made her Mango & Blueberries Napoleon cake. One for her, one for her boyfriend, and one for me (because I had to try it before gifting the cakes to Sindy).

Even though these Napoleons look gorgeous and fancy, they were quite simple to make. The hardest part, in fact, was the buttercream recipe. Find the recipe that's not too complicated, and you'll be all set. Then tell me about it ;)

I baked the store bought puffed pastry cut into pieces and then cut each piece lengthwise after it cooled. Then, I layered each piece with buttercream, diced mango, and fresh blueberries, finishing the top layer with a pretty mango rose and a dusting of confectionery sugar. All done!

Napoleon with mango and blueberries plated and dusted with sugar


Green Curry With Sweet Potato, Peppers, And Peas

curry, coconut milk, sweet potato, vegan, vegetarian, plant based, pepper, soup, meatless monday, peas

If you have a few roasted sweet potatoes, or regular potatoes for that matter, you can have Green Curry With Sweet Potato, Peppers, And Peas in about 20 minutes!

Green Curry With Sweet Potato, Peppers, And Peas

Serves 2-3 depending on how hungry you are and whether you are eating this curry with rice


2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

2 yellow peppers, thinly sliced (of course you can use any color you like)

2-3 tablespoons green curry paste

1 can (about 14 ounces) coconut milk

1/2 to 1 cups of water

1 large or 2 medium roasted sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup defrosted peas

salt to taste

1 lime, quartered

nuts, chopped (I would prefer cashews or almonds, but only had Brasil nuts)

cilantro, chopped


1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add onions and peppers and saute on medium heat for about 7 to 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened and browned slightly.

2. Add the curry paste and saute for a few minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk and enough water to thin it out to your desired consistency.

4. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add sweet potatoes and peas and mix to combine.

5. Simmer the curry covered for about 10 minutes. Taste for salt.

6. Serve the curry in a bowl with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, chopped nuts, and cilantro.

Options: you can serve this curry on top of rice and or with crispy tofu or a protein of your choice. 


Virtual Knife Skills Classes

knife skills, cooking class, virtual, how to, diy, proper chopping technique, vegetables, fruit

Guess what!? I now offer virtual knife skills classes. It's been almost a year since I taught an in person knife skills class, and who knows when that'll be possible again, but earlier this week I received an email from Dan asking if I'd be interested in offering a virtual knife skills class to his girlfriend and him in Chicago.

I was excited about teaching again, but utterly freaking out about the virtual part (which I've not told him of course). I said sure, and we came up with the list of fruits and vegetables I'd teach and set the time and day for a Zoom meeting, and then THANKFULLY my friend Emily agreed to be my test student so I could figure out the set up and the angles to make sure my students would be able to see what I was doing virtually. It was easier than I feared. 

The class went incredibly well! Dan and Thi were a joy to work with: punctual, fun, eager to learn, paid on time, and asked great questions. The class went about 2 hours, and everyone's fingers were intact.

If you like many others are spending more time in the kitchen these days, why not learn how to be safer, more efficient, and how to make sure your food not tastes and looks better!?

If you are interested in learning how to chop, slice, and dice, please contact me at olga@mangotomato.com to discuss setting up a class!

I wanted to write a brief review about the virtual online knife skills class.  I was looking for something fun to do with my girlfriend over the holidays.  With all the local shops temporarily closed, stumbled across Mango and Tomato on a Google search.  I reached out to Olga to see if she wanted to try an online version of her knife skills class.  I didn't know what to expect at first, but Olga practiced with a friend ahead of time, really got a feel for the camera angles, and really made it a really great (virtual) experience.  We both learned quite a bit, and about 2 weeks later, keep perfecting/honing our skills, some of them starting to have the "ahh ha moment". I'd recommend giving it a try!



Burrata, Beet & Avocado Salad

salad, meatless monday, avocado, citrus, orange, beets, burrata, cheese, healthy, winter salad, vegetarian

How gorgeous is this Burrata, Beet & Avocado Salad?

Salads aren't only for summer, although when I think of burrata, I immediately think of ripe summer tomatoes. Because we are in the middle of winter, how about switching things up a bit?

Burrata, Beet & Avocado Salad

Roasted beets, peeled and sliced
orange, segmented
avocado, sliced
burrata, torn into big chunks
olive oil

Arrange on a pretty platter. Eat.

Other things you may want to add: pistachios, herbs, endives.


Weekend Inspirations: Flowers

flower arrangement, gerber daisies, hydrangea, peruvian lilies, flowers, vase

Wishing you a safe and delicious Thanksgiving.