Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watermelon “Gazpacho”



Summertime is the best time to eat watermelon. Watermelon is a great fruit to hydrate your body and they are full of nutrients most especially glutathione, an antioxidant that most people are crazy about. I prefer watermelons with the seeds. I noticed that they are sweeter than the seedless ones. You can remove them but I prefer to blend them with the flesh as they are high in vitamin E. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamins C, A, B6, B1, and the minerals magnesium and potassium. Include the watermelon rind, the white part next to the skin that most people throw out as they are also high in nutrients. You can also make pickled watermelon rind or just simply juice them.



When people are thirsty, they would usually grab a can of iced-cold soft drinks. The truth is they don’t hydrate your body as many people think it does. They are so high in sugar and even if they are sugar-free, sugar substitutes are toxic to the body. Watermelon along with cucumber can quench your thirst and it’s excellent for dehydration and summer heat symptoms which include headache, nausea, irritability, low appetite, heavy, weighted body sensation, sluggish digestion, increased body temperature and sticky sweat. It is also good for canker sores and sore throat.



Be careful when buying watermelon shakes as they usually add water and simple syrup. So, what if there’s no watermelon and cucumber? Well, just simply drink water. Water is a miracle fluid that most people take for granted. Of course, we have to make sure it’s clean water too.

For this chilled soup, I blended more than half of the watermelon and the rest are diced along with the shallots, cucumber and red bell pepper. You can also add some fresh diced tomatoes. I like to keep it simple so the only other ingredients that I added are lemon juice, fresh torn basil, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. You could blend all the ingredients together but I like the watermelon nectar to have a dominant taste than the rest of the ingredients. I actually hold the lemon juice, sea salt and oil and just add them when it’s about time to serve. I even leave the watermelon seeds and just spit them out onto a spoon but that’s up to you. My family doesn’t like to eat cold soup. They always prefer to eat soup hot and to eat fruits as a dessert. But this one is an exception. I could have a big bowl or a small bowl of this "gazpacho" at anytime of the day.



Watermelon “Gazpacho”


Serves 4
  • 3 lbs watermelon wedge
  • ½ shallot
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • fresh lemon juice
  • unrefined sea salt
  • extra virgin olive oil
To start the gazpacho, place the watermelon wedge on a cutting board. Using the tip of the knife, cut the watermelon by slicing in between the skin and the flesh. Cut three-quarters of the watermelon into large cubes and place in the blender. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Cut the remaining watermelon into medium diced, about ¼ inch, removing the seeds, if desired. Next, mince the shallots, peel and dice (about 1/2-inch) the cucumber and the red bell pepper. Add these to the diced watermelon. Remove the basil leaves from the stem and torn into small pieces onto the mixture.

Chill the watermelon puree and the mixture, covered, for about 2-3 hours. Ladle the puree onto a chilled bowl and 2-3 spoonfuls of the mixture. Season the soup with sea salt, lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

Alternatively, you can combine the puree and the mixture together before chilling.
Notes:

You can add some fresh pink grapefruit juice or some cranberry juice to the watermelon puree for a tangy twist.

Instead of lemon juice, substitute with lime juice or vinegar such as red wine vinegar.

Instead of shallots, substitute with sweet red onion.

For an extra kick, add some minced jalapenos.

Other herbs such as parsley, cilantro or mint would also be a great alternative to basil leaves.


Watermelon Gazpacho




6 comments:

  1. WOW! this looks fantastic, so fresh and full of life. thanks for the recipe, I am absolutely going to make this. I might just wait a bit though as it's -5 outside right now :-)

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  2. i should try this D. All the ingredients are available here :) Nice pics. Are you also into photography?

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  3. My mouth is watering! What a terrific dish- and so simple, too. It sounds like the perfect starter to an unforgettable outdoor summer meal underneath the stars.

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  4. what a refreshing treat for a hot summer day!

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  5. A perfect summertime snack! Definitely on my next garden party menu.

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  6. Oh Nice! One to keep for summer! Thanks for sharing :)

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