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Juicy Tomatoes with Chile Crisp

What would a tomato salad look like if it deserved a recipe? Something like this. Very savory. Topped with garlic chile crisp and dressed with its delicious oil. Anchovies and fennel seeds heighten the tomato’s flavor while bringing even more savory undertones. It’s spicy, with the chile flakes. This isn’ a simple caprese that you whipped up on a summer afternoon. It’s still simple but steals the show.

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x



1⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 oil packed anchovies, drained
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed or finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes (any size will do), some sliced and some cut into wedges, or small tomatoes (such as Sungold and/or cherry), some halved and some left whole (editor’s note: we prefer Early Girls)
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 cup basil leaves
Flaky sea salt


In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil, garlic, and anchovies. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic is barely golden and crisp and the anchovies have melted away, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes.

Place the tomatoes on a large platter and splash with the vinegar. Spoon the chile crisp over and scatter the basil on top. Finish with plenty of salt and serve.


The chile crisp can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.


cook you want to be cover

Editor’s note: Andy Baraghani is an Iranian immigrant who grew up in the East Bay, with a mother who loved to cook. After shopping trips to Monterey Market they’d grab a slice at the Cheese Board, their go-to pizza shop and “and sit rebelliously in the median next to the sign that read KEEP OFF THE MEDIAN — very Berkeley — to listen to the violist or whichever ensemble was performing.” At age 16, Baraghani walked into Chez Panisse to ask for a job and was soon working weekends for then-head chef Cal Peternell. After moving to New York, Baraghani went on to become a food writer and recipe developer at Saveur and Bon Appetit. This is his first book.

“Reprinted from The Cook You Want To Be. Copyright © 2022 Andy Baraghani Photographs copyright © 2022 Graydon Herriott. Published by Lorena Jones Books, an imprint of Random House.”  

  • Author: Andy Baraghani
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minute
  • Category: Salad
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tomato chile crisp