Andy Baraghani’s Juicy Tomatoes with Italian Chile Crisp

Andy Baraghani's Juicy Tomatoes with Italian Chile Crisp

In his debut cookbook, “The Cook You Want To Be: Everyday Recipes to Impress” (Lorena Jones, $35), Bay Area native and former Bon Appetit senior editor Andy Baraghani shares his culinary wisdom on everything from salted fruit to Persian tahdig.

This simple dish is an example of the former (yes, tomatoes are fruit). It shows how garlic, flaky sea salt and other savory elements elevate summer’s bounty. The chile crisp can be made up to one week ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge.

Juicy Tomatoes with Italian Chile Crisp

Serves 4


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), some sliced and some cut into wedges, or small tomatoes (such as Sungold or cherry), some halved and some left whole

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.