Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Watermelon Gazpacho

I've been trying to make some new goals for myself. Small goals that are easily obtainable and I'm hoping will make differences in several different aspects of my life. One of these I mentioned earlier: eating a little more locally. This can sometimes be difficult, but so far I feel like I've at least managed to make some healthy and delicious meals for myself and Dear. This will probably become even easier as the summer progresses and the Farmers Markets get more stocked and my own garden starts generating (or even ... once I get it planted).

Another goal that I've set is to make at least one vegetarian meal a week. I figure this will help Dear and I save a little on expensive produce (especially produce that's chockfulla hormones and who knows what else) and try out new recipes to boot. I've started reading a couple blogs that promote vegetarian eating, and there are some really great recipes to be found (check out my friend and fellow Purchase alum, The Cozy Herbivore).

This week, I tried a recipe that I had a few years ago and have just never made myself: Watermelon Gazpacho. This is a fairly simple and tasty recipe, served cold like the traditional Gazpacho. It's a great kick-off to summer, and even better in the dead heat of Midsummer, taking advantage of all sorts of different flavors. Be forewarned: there is a LOT of chopping that goes into this. You might be most comfortable pulling a chair up to your counter, or setting a few towels down on the table and sitting while you chop. The messiest part is the juicy watermelon and tomatoes, but other than that, it's super easy! Beware of the serrano pepper, too -- it can burn your skin. I wore clean dishgloves while I chopped mine, but you can use regular rubber gloves from the cleaning aisle, as long as they are CLEAN. Please use common sense -- don't use the rubber gloves you scrubbed the toilet with over the weekend, for the love of Pete.

Watermelon Gazpacho

8 c seedless watermelon (about 1 1/2 of the tiny watermelons)
4 c tomato (about six or seven in total)
4 large avocados
1 cucumber
1 serrano pepper, seeded
2 T olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put 7 cups of the watermelon and 3 1/2 cups of the tomatoes into a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer puree into a large bowl using a fine mesh strainer to separate the solids. Press as much of the solids through as will go, then throw the rest out.

Finely chop the remaining ingredients and toss them in with the pureed watermelon and tomato mess. Add salt and pepper to taste, and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Garnish with feta or goat cheese and fresh dill.


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