Watermelon, Installment 3: Gazpacho

The third and (second to) last installment of how to use up all that watermelon you have left over from the spicy salad that I know you all made:

    gazpacho: A refreshingly cold, summertime soup hailing from the Andalusia region in southern Spain.

Contrary to popular belief, its not only the tomato, pepper, cucumber etc variety of soup (the “salad as a soup” variety, if you will). Gazpacho offers you more than that. True, it is usually tomato based, but it can be any kind of cold soup, and this one is watermelon based (a watermelon salad as a soup, perhaps??)

Its especially important to not over-blend the ingredients. There is so much water in watermelon (duh) that’ll quickly and easily get runny and not that good.
Watermelon Gazpacho

    1/4 med seedless watermelon, rind cut off ad cubed
    2T crumbled feta cheese
    1t coconut cream (coconut milk is too watery)
    1t seasoned rice vinegar
    pinch salt
    pinch cayenne

    for garnish:
    drizzle of chili oil, coarse grey salt, fresh ground black pepper and 1 small heirloom tomato chopped in small cubes

    1. Combine all ingredients (except for garnish) in blender and pulse quickly
    2. Serve topped with chili oil, coarse salt, ground pepper and chooped tomatos
    3. To eat, mix in toppings
    4. Eat it!

Watermelon Salsa, Redux (w/ slight adjustments)

Now, I don’t know if any of you people have ever noticed, but watermelons (even the small ones) are mighty big. One might even venture to say huge. Considering this, and therefore all the melon-meat inside, it’s lucky I still have that mental list I made of things to do with watermelon – especially so, since I don’t really like watermelon on its own. (I know….tomatoes, watermelon….what else does she not like? – You’ll find out, I promise.)

In any case – should you have forgotten the list, it included watermelon gazpacho, pickled watermelon rind and:H20salsa

Watermelon Salsa

    1 1/3 c. seedless watermelon (without rind) , cut into small cubes
    1 small heirloom tomato, cut into small cubes
    1/2 cob’s worth of corn, cut from the cob*
    1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped fine
    1/4 yellow bell pepper, chopped fine
    1/4 green bell bepper, chopped fine
    1/4 c. red onion, finely chopped
    5 medium leaves basil, finely chopped
    1T finely chopped cilantro, loosely packed

    1/2T seasoned rice vinegar
    1t chili oil
    juice of 1 lime

    1. Quickly cook the corn: If you have a gas stove, you can cook the cob right on the burner, low heat, ’til it browns (it will make loud popping sounds while cooking, don’t freak out). Or, if you are in a desperate kitchen situation, like myself, and have an electric stove, cut the corn from the half-cob and saute it on high heat in 1/2t of butter ’til the little kernels brown.

    2. Mix it all together, toss with liquid ingredients

    3. Enjoy served chilled, with some chips and a refreshing adult beverage.

Spicy Watermelon, Arugula and Goat Cheese Salad

When people think “California summer”, they think roller-blades, sun block, smooth, brown tans and palm trees in the breeze. Unfortunately, the truth of my California summer is quite the opposite. San Francisco’s June, July and most of August is usually comprised of windy, over-cast and foggy, chilly days who turn into damp, cold-ass nights. These last few days, though, have been a joy of true summer: mid-80’s, sunny and humid.

And so, I needed something appropriate…. It’s way too hot to even use the microwave – I needed something that is creative and cools me down from the inside out?

I wracked my brain – what would be tasty and refreshing? Cold soup, of course, but I’ve already done the Avocado-Cucumber soup (which, by the way, is intimidatingly perfect for this weather) and I don’t really like tomatoes, sotraditional gazpacho is out. And then, there it was, in the middle of the produce aisle: round, smooth and green; the very reason God himself invented the hot day: Watermelon.

A quick mental list followed:

    Chilled Watermelon Soup with Basil and Champagne
    Martinis with Watermelon Ice
    Watermelon Salsa
    Pickled Watermelon Rind
    Spicy Watermelon Salad
    Spicy Watermelon and Arugula Salad

      2/3 C. cubed fresh watermelon
      2/3 C. arugula greens
      2T soft herbed goat cheese

      1t flavored rice vinegar
      1.5T extra virgin olive oil
      3/4t mild chili oil
      1t juice fresh from over-ripe tomato
      pinch of salt
      twist of fresh ground black pepper
      teeny-tiny pinch of fleur de sel (French grey salt)

      1. Put all vinaigrette ingredients into a bowl and whisk vigorously
      2. Put all dry salad ingredients into bowl
      3. Pour vinaigrette slowly over the watermelon, arugula and cheese (in small batches, making sure not to over dress)
      4. Toss salad with your hands, gently creaming the cheese
      5. Eat it!

    The rest of the recipes for the dishes in the watermelon list above will be posted soon, as well.