Recipes excerpted from California: Living + Eating by Eleanor Maidment, published by Hardie Grant Books, May 2019. It’s hard to beat a really great tomato salad, and I think this is one. Tomatoes, soy sauce and nori are rich umami flavors and they truly complement each other, while the wasabi just adds a nice undercurrent of heat.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 minutes


500 g (1 lb 2 oz) tomatoes (a mixture of colors and sizes)
1 ½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon groundnut (peanut) oil
1 teaspoon runny honey
1 teaspoon wasabi paste
½ sheet nori
handful of micro coriander (cilantro)or chopped coriander leaves

Additional Items to Serve:

Cooked rice or mashed potato and greens


Make sure your tomatoes are at room temperature (in general they should be stored at room temperature too, not in the refrigerator). Cut them into 1 cm (¼ in) thick slices, cutting out any sections of thick core, and arrange over a serving plate. Whisk together the vinegar, soy, oil, honey and wasabi in a bowl. Taste and add more wasabi, if you like.

Spoon the dressing over the tomatoes. They can sit like this for a few minutes but wait until you’re ready to serve before sprinkling over the nori as it softens quickly. Cut the nori into 2 long strips about 2.5 cm (1 in) wide. Place the strips on top of each other and, using clean kitchen scissors, snip shards of nori over the tomatoes. Scatter over the coriander and serve immediately.

Note on Measuring Honey

This is a nifty trick I learned at culinary school: honey will stick to your measuring spoon, but if the spoon is coated with a little oil beforehand it will slide right off. So, if you’re making a dressing which uses both ingredients, as above, then always measure out the oil first, following with the honey.