It’s summer, time for some chilled soup and a nice salad!


I wrote a blog about gazpacho in August of last year, but I didn’t include any recipes for non-tomato variation or melon soups.  We had dinner at a friend’s house this week, and she made a wonderful watermelon gazpacho, and I got her to share the recipe.  It is delightful.

Watermelon Gazpacho

Ingredients:

1 medium red onion, cut in rough dice for 1/2 cup, and in very fine dice for 1/2 cup

1-2 red bell pepper cut in rough dice for 1 cup, and in very fine dice for 3/4 cup

1-2 cucumbers, peeled and seeded, 1 cup roughly chopped, 1 cup in fine dice

1 jalapeno pepper, 1 Tbs roughly chopped, 1 Tbs in fine dice (more if needed for more spice)

2 cups fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped

7 cups seedless watermelon (more if needed)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (more is needed to counter sweetness of tomatoes and watermelon)

1 Tbs kosher salt

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Place the rough chopped ingredients (tomato, red onion, bell pepper, cucumber, jalapeno, and cilantro) into a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth puree.  Add the watermelon and blend to a smooth puree (may have to be done in batches).   It can also be done with an immersion blender, but it will take much longer.  Pour into a large bowl.

Taste the puree and add red wine vinegar in an adequate amount to balance the sweetness of the puree.  Start with 1/4 cup and add more to taste.  Whisk in the salt and the olive oil.  Stir in the finely diced onions, bell pepper, cucumber and jalapeno.  Chill at least 1 hour or overnight.

J*** also made a lovely salad.  Here is the recipe:

Sweet Corn and Basmati Rice Salad

from BON APPÉTIT JUNE 2000

The Dijon mustard vinaigrette brings everything together.  If you can’t find basmati rice, long grain rice works.

Ingredients:

2 Tbs red wine vinegar

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

3 large ears corn, husked

1 cup chopped green onions

2 1/4 cups water

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped toasted pecans

3 bunches watercress (about 12 ounces total), stems discarded

Preparation:

Whisk red wine vinegar and mustard in a large bowl to blend.  Gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil.  Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.

Using a large sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from the cobs.  Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a large heavy skillet with medium heat.  Add green onions; saute 30 seconds.  Add corn: saute until corn is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Both the vinaigrette and corn mixture can be prepared ahead and chilled, but warm the corn mixture before serving.

Make the rice with 2 1/4 cups of boiling water, to which is added rinsed rice and 1/2 tsp salt.  Reduce heat to low and cover, cooking about 20 minutes until the rice is tender.  Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

Mix rice, corn mixture, and pecans in a large bowl.  Mix in vinaigrette and chopped watercress.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Happy summer!

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About trustforce

A well trained amateur chef, I cook and enjoy many different cuisines. Nonetheless, I love a great Chicago style hot dog or Italian beef, even though the next meal might be haut cuisine. My biggest problem is that I know too much about restaurants and I find it hard to ignore or forgive sloppy technique or bad ingredients. I pull no punches in my restaurant reviews! All my recipe postings are extensively tested by me, and when I am not the originator they are correctly attributed to the source author.
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