Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Watermelon Gazpacho And A Delicious Invention


I had this thought to make gazpacho and to use watermelon in place of half of the tomatoes. I thought swapping out some of the tomatoes would...well, actually, I don’t know what I thought. I just saw watermelon in the store and the idea came to me.

Whenever I make gazpacho, I always double the recipe because I love it so much and I use no oil or bread, so it’s a guilt-free pleasure. That made it easy to make one batch with watermelon and one with tomatoes. It also allowed me to taste them separately...just for fun. The interesting thing is that I had NO idea how good the watermelon gazpacho would be on its own. It was sooo good, in fact, that I kind of regretted not making TWO batches of it and forgetting about the tomato gazpacho.

But since I had made both of them, I did some experimenting. I tasted my usual tomato gazpacho. Excellent, as always. Then, as I said, I tasted the watermelon gazpacho and it was SUPERB!
Left: Watermelon Gazpacho; Right: Tomato Gazpacho 
This may not have been a wine tasting, but I did seriously set to the task of tasting the differences between the two. With the watermelon gazpacho, I got more sweet notes. With the tomato, the sour, tangy taste of the vinegar was more pronounced. Also the watermelon one was definitely lighter. Interestingly, the tomato gazpacho tasted almost hearty next to the watermelon one. It was noticeably more filling.

Next, I mixed one spoonful of each together. Wow! It was amazing. I moved on to a half cup of each stirred together. I wasn't imagining it! It was seriously yummy. But just in case, I stored them separately and then I served H (who is a great fan of my regular gazpacho) a bowl of the two mixed together. He liked it too…A LOT.
Left: Watermelon Gazpacho; Center: both gazpachos mixed; Right: Tomato Gazpacho 
I had thought maybe the watermelon would overpower the tomato, but it didn’t. It smoothed out the rough edges and made the gazpacho even more delicious. The two together resulted in a slightly more mellow version of gazpacho, not as acidic.

So here are the two recipes. Most of the ingredients are the same, except I used a green pepper with the tomato gazpacho and a red pepper with the watermelon. Try what I did - Make them separately, taste them alone and then mix some together and see what you think. Let me know. The two together may become my new favorite gazpacho.

(What about gazpacho made with YELLOW tomatoes, YELLOW  peppers AND... YELLOW watermelon? Mmm.)

Watermelon Gazpacho (serves 4-6)



adapted from Penelope Casas’ Gazpacho Andaluz in The Foods and Wines of Spain

4 to 5 cups cut-up watermelon chunks
1 small can tomato juice (5.5 oz. to 6 oz.)
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
1 red pepper, cored and halved
¼ cup of roughly chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and center stalk removed
4 tbls. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ Kosher salt

Optional for garnish:
watermelon balls, diced cucumber, green pepper and onion

Place all ingredients (except for garnish) in blender. Blend until smooth. Pass through the smaller disc of a food mill (easy) or strain through a large sieve (more difficult) pressing out as much liquid as possible. Taste for seasoning. Chill well. Serve with watermelon and vegetable garnishes, if desired.

Tomato Gazpacho (serves 4-6)

adapted from Penelope Casas’ Gazpacho Andaluz in The Foods and Wines of Spain
Printable recipe here.

4 to 5 cups cut-up fresh tomatoes (I used beefsteak. Roma are good too)
1 small can tomato juice (5.5 oz. to 6 oz.)
2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into 4 pieces
1 green pepper, cored and halved
¼ cup of roughly chopped onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and center
4 tbls. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp. sugar
¼ Kosher salt

Optional for garnish:
diced cucumber, red pepper and onion

Place all ingredients (except for garnish) in blender. Blend until smooth. Pass through the smaller disc of a food mill (easy) or strain through a large sieve (more difficult) pressing out as much liquid as possible. Taste for seasoning. Chill well. Serve with vegetable garnishes, if desired.  


Left: Watermelon Gazpacho; Center: both gazpachos mixed; Right: Tomato Gazpacho

7 comments:

Sheila said...

Yellow Watermelon? C'mon! :-)

Sounds soooooo good!!!!! What a great way to use up the tomatoes! It freezes well?

Sue said...

Isn't it a great world when you can get something as beautiful as yellow watermelon?

I have some gazpacho in my freezer right now. I wouldn't freeze it forever, though, because of the garlic. But it'll be nice and icy, which is always a good thing with gazpacho.

Nikki said...

I will eat tomatoes all day long, but not watermelon. I just can't get into it. I would, however... perchance... maybe, possibly add a few chunks of it to my tomato gazpacho to lighten it up (but probably not). Your recipes DO look delicious. I'll be trying the tomato one for sure, before all of the late summer tomatoes get tart and inedible.

Sue said...

Hi Nikki!
How ARE things?

Just stick to the tomatoes and you'll be happy. This is a great recipe for your new vegan lifestyle. And just skip the straining part if you want a gazpacho with a little texture.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I used to eat a lot of gazpacho until one day I grew sort of tired of the whole tomato/cucumber/pepper thing. I have seen some great savory watermelon recipes and have made one or two. I do love watermelon (I do not share Nikki's opinion on that one) and would be more than willing to try it out in gazpacho and enliven a dish I'm a tad weary of.

Sue said...

You know Rach, MY gazpacho is VERY vinegary and lively tasting, so you might like it more than others you've had. My newest thing is to make a batch of each and then every time I have some I mix and match them. But an equal amount of the tomato and watermelon gazpachos is still the best.

Emily said...

Gorgeous.

Now you should make watermelon margaritas!! Please? I will come visit you.