Summer has flown by in a way I’ve never witnessed before, but I think Eric and I have done our best to make the most of it. We got our hands on bags of cherries, husked countless ears of corn, sliced up peaches and devoured bowls of berries. Summertime dishes are some of my favorite and, especially here in New England, where our produce seasons can end rather abruptly, you really have to work to cram them all into your diet.
It’s hard to say what the weather will be like these next few weeks. Right now, it’s mellowed out quite a bit. The humidity has dissipated and the highs only reach the 70s. But, knowing how temps have been these last six months, I suspect we haven’t seen the end of this muggy season.
This gazpacho has been my own personal savior on days when I come home from a quick walk with Maki covered in sweat (and you should see how she looks… tongue hanging out, uncontrollable panting). A bowl is not only sure to take care of heat stroke, but it also makes for a surprisingly satisfying meal.
The key to keeping this gazpacho hearty is by leaving out a portion of the chopped cucumber and watermelon salad. Top the pureed soup with the remaining salad and some feta (creme fraiche works well too). Now, I know that there are a lot of gazpacho naysayers out there, but I think that this might change their view. It’s bright and refreshing… and it’s undeniable that we can all use a dish like this right now.
(adapted slightly from Tyler Florence’s recipe, via FoodNetwork.com)
1 large tomato, seeds removed
1/2 anheim (milder) or serrano chile (spicy)
2 cups cubed fresh watermelon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1/2 cucumber, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
In a food process, chop the tomatoes, onion, chile, and 1/2 of the watermelon until it has reached your desired consistency (I like to leave mine a little chunky). Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse a couple of times. Add 3/4 of the cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Pour into chilled bowls and top with remaining watermelon and cucumber, Sprinkle with dill and feta. Serve.