Balance the inherent sweetness of summer’s tomatoes with piquant flavors of nuoc cham—lime, fish sauce, chili, and shallot—and a kiss from the grill. Because you want the tomatoes to soak up the marinade, it’s a good dish to prep before guests arrive. Serve alongside grilled fish, barbecued beef, and/or sticky rice. —Ali Slagle
large, firm tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/2-inch thick (or halved if short)
Olive oil, for greasing
Salt and pepper
1 lime, halved
bird’s eye chili, thinly sliced
shallot, thinly sliced
toasted sesame seeds
Leaves from two sprigs of mint
Heat a grill or grill pan to high. Coat both faces of the tomato with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Lightly oil the lime halves as well. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, chili, and shallot.
Grease the grill or grill pan, then lightly char the tomatoes on both sides, about 5 minutes total. You don’t want them to go mushy on you. Grill the lime halves until caramelized, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the tomatoes to a serving platter, then top with fish sauce marinade. Squeeze the grilled limes over the tomatoes as well. Let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld, then garnish with sesame seeds and mint.