Watermelon Gazpacho

Happy Labor Day ye scallywags!  The last hurrah of summer…still warm, and maybe we’ll get some good Indian summer days ahead as well.  If so, take advantage of the farmstand bounty of watermelons, tomatoes and cucumbers and make some of this healthy and refreshing gazpacho.

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The lowly watermelon…what to do.  If summer heat hasn’t inspired you to try this recipe, perhaps you will be backed into it as I was by the happy challenge of someone giving you a beautiful, just-picked watermelon.  Now, if you’re a twosome on a sailboat this poses special challenges.  You can’t keep it around whole for too long…too big for the produce hammock, you get tired of building it a towel nest in the pilot berth, and you have other things that need to be secured in the sink underway.  But how do two people eat a watermelon expediently?

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Answer: puree it!  For the recipe you will need 4 cups of cubed watermelon, or about a whole medium sized melon.  Two cups you will leave cubed, the other two you can puree in your blender or food processor.  By the way, if you’re buying, invest in the seedless watermelon…deseeding was the most time consuming part of this post!

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To the 2 cups of pureed watermelon, add 2 large tomatoes and 1 serano chile, pureed.  And no, I’m not sure why all my photos look like a Caravaggio still life.  Our boat is a “classic” — a 1982 Swan — and a bit darker than Night Town the more modern J42, but it’s not Baroque.

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Stir in 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and 1/2 cup olive oil.  Puree and add 4 tablespoons red onion and 4 tablespoons fresh herbs–I used cinnamon basil and mint, but dill or oregano are lovely too.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Stir this all together well and chill.  Word of advice, the flavors get MUCH better with a couple days age.  If you at all can, let this sit for a couple days, but if not, a little more salt might help at this early stage.  But do give it some time to chill, the hallmark of gazpacho.

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To serve, dice a cucumber and the remaining 2 cups watermelon into 6-8 serving bowls.

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Add the chilled puree and stir, sprinkle with some feta cheese and additional chopped herbs to serve.  Sit in the shade and enjoy the last days of summer!

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