Friday, May 25, 2012

Gourmet’s 50 Most Influential Women in Food # 49 Soraya Darabi and Alexa Andrzejewski ~ Watermelon-Tomato Salad

Watermelon Tomato Salad
Hard to believe we are at #49 on Gourmets list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Food. This week it’s actually two women, Soraya Darabi and Alexa Andrzejewski.  They are the co-founders (along with Alexa’s husband) of Foodspotting. They are both in their 20’s!  
Soraya Darabi was educated at Georgetown University and The Blake School.  She is known as the Digital Maven and has been featured on the cover of Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business”.  Soraya was also named one of Inc. Magazine’s “30 under 30”.  She began her career working for the N.Y. Times as Manager of Digital Partnerships and Social Media.  She then helped found the mobile application for Foodspotting where she was a cofounder.  She currently works as an investor/advisor and public speaker at Darabi Strategies.                                          
Alexa is also a co-founder and is the CEO of Foodspotting. She earned a BS in Visual Communication from Ohio State University.  She is responsible for the vision, strategy, design direction and product management for the first and leading app for finding and rating dishes instead of restaurants.
Have you ever heard of Foodspotting? To be honest, I hadn't!  Even now, after reading about it, I’m still a bit confused.  But as they say “ There’s an App for that”! The Foodspotting website and mobile apps, make it easy to find and share food recommendations.  As Gourmet wrote when they picked these ladies as their game changers, This idea is part of the future…we're not sure why…it just is!
I found a Watermelon-Tomato salad on Foodspotting, and decided to make it to represent these talented ladies. The recipe is from Epicurious.  I made it for a simple dinner, and served it with hamburgers.  Although I was a little apprehensive with the combo, it turned out great!  This salad will be making an appearance at my Memorial Day party!  I’m also sure it will find it’s way onto my table quite often this summer!  

It was a wonderful accompaniment with my hamburger
I could only find red tomatoes in my grocery…it didn’t matter…totally delicious! 

Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Epicurious | March 2009

If the idea of tomatoes and watermelon together sounds odd to you, this dish will be a revelation. There is a saying that what grows together goes together, and in this case it is true. If you think of tomatoes as a fruit, which they are botanically, this combination makes more sense. Seasonality, however, is the key. I make this salad only in the summer, when tomatoes, watermelon, and cucumbers are at their peak of flavor. Rich, creamy Hass avocadoes are included to lend a nice contrast of flavor and texture. I always toss this salad together before serving, but for the photo opposite I was inspired to create a painstaking mosaic of the ingredients. If you're so inclined, feel free, but don't say I didn't warn you—it takes a lot of time.Yield: Serves 4 to 6
3 or 4 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors, cored and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 small English or regular cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cup 3/4-inch-cubed yellow or red seedless watermelon flesh
1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: basil, tarragon, chives, and cilantro
1/4 teaspoon coriander seed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and herbs. In a spice grinder, grind the coriander seeds to a fine powder. Add the ground coriander to the tomato mixture and toss gently.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the tomato mixture and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Here’s what we've been up to with our 49th Game Changer.....

Mary of One Perfect Bite 
Susan of The Spice Garden  
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed   
Heather of Girlichef   
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney  
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living   
Linda of There and Back Again  
Barbara of Moveable Feasts  
Nancy of Picadillo 
Mireya of My Healthy Eating Habits  
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen  
Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook  
Alyce of More Time at The Table  
Amrita of Beetle’s Kitchen Escapades
Martha at Simple Nourished Living  
Jill at Saucy Cooks  
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Annie at Most Lovely Things  
Sue at The View from Great Island   


  1. Oh, that salsa definitely makes me want to scoop it directly into my mouth. Chip optional ;)

  2. Oh my your salad looks good! I will have to try this one as I love all the ingredients and the idea of these flavors together in one salad;-) Have a wonderful holiday weekend;-)

  3. What a refreshing summer salad. I'm sad our group is coming to a close, but I'll still be checking your page.

  4. What a delicious salad for hot summer days:) I love all the flavors that are in this salad. I will be making this recipe soon:) Thanks for a great post and have a wonderful Memorial Day !

  5. I just tried making a savory watermelon salad this week - will have to give this a try, sounds so refreshing!

  6. What a refreshing looking salad, Kathy and what a combination of ingredients - sounds intriguing! You know I have followed your "Gourmet" posts ever since I saw them on your wonderful blog and I am a bit sad that you only have one last post! I will have to read the ones that I missed and even if I am going to be a bit late with my comments, I will try to catch up as best as I can.

    Take care!

  7. Such a healthy and refreshing way to start the barbecue season!

  8. This is just gorgeous! All those deep reds - not just filed with favor but packed with welcoming color! Grand choice!

  9. I have heard Foodspotting mentioned a lot, but I didn't know anything about it. How wonderful that it was started by women and young women at that. Your watermelon salad looks so refreshing and I happen to have a watermelon sitting on my counter to make aqua fesca, but now that I have seen this I am going to reserve some and make this over the weekend.

  10. This looks delicious, especially with bits of feta.

  11. I have heard of watermelon and tomato salad, but have never had it ... so interesting! Thanks for a recipe that I can use to change that unfortunate situation!

  12. Another winner, how do you keep coming up with these ideas? Oh yes, the 3 bizzillion cook books you have and now the computer, silly me. This is one I will definately make this summer, thanks again Kathy, great pictures!

  13. I've heard of this salad before, but yours looks so good I will have to finally give it a try. Nice way to mix things up in the salad department for the summer!

  14. The mix of watermelon and tomato sounds so delicious, I am not sure why I have not seen this on restaurant menus. Perfect for a picnic or today-thanks for posting this!