I found an unusual recipe on allrecipes.com a few weeks ago. It's a recipe for watermelon gazpacho. It has no tomatoes in it; the main ingredient is watermelon. I love that it looked so different than anything I've had before. Plus, with the lemon, ginger and mint, it looked to be very refreshing. the thing that really sold me, though, was the fact that there is no cooking involved. I hate heating up the house with cooking in the summer.
I made this recipe exactly as written (although I halved it), with the single exception of reducing the jalapeno by half. I worried Oliver wouldn't like the spice.
It was perfect! The vegetables just gave it a kick. Other than the watermelon itself, the flavor that really stood out was the ginger. As predicted, it was extremely refreshing. It actually reminded me of something that would be served at a nice, outdoorsy wedding shower. I served it by itself, but even on a hot summer day, it needed something else. Traditional gazpacho is Spanish, but the first thing that came to mind as a possible pairing for this watermelon gazpacho was tea sandwiches (English). Specifically, I thought about a simple cucumber tea sandwich (butter bread--no crusts--on the insides, put cucumbers it in, and slice it into small sandwiches). Serve it with whatever you choose (maybe as a side during a barbeque), but I don't think it makes a good meal by itself.
One last thing: my husband and I ate some leftover watermelon gazpacho the following day, and it tasted just as good as it did when we ate it for dinner. In my opinion, this is something you can make a day ahead of time.
Taken directly from the website, here's the recipe for Julia's Watermelon Gazpacho (serves 10):
6 cups cubed, seeded watermelon, divided
2 English cucumbers, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped mint (fresh)
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup pineapple juice
20 small mint leaeves
1. Reserve 20 cubes of watermelon for garnish.
2. Working in batches, place the remaining watermelon and the cucumbers, red bell peppers, onion, jalapeno pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, 3 tablespoons of mint, ginger, honey and pineapple juice into a blender or food processor. Blend for about 20-30 seconds per batch. The mixture should be well-blended but retain some texture. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate at least one hour.
3. Serve in bowls, and garnish each bowl with a couple cubes of watermelon and two mint leaves.
Cost per serving: Approximately $2, but this will differ when fruit is out of season
Protein: <1 gram