We’ve been eating good melon all summer, including tons of sweet, silky cantaloupe. But now, there are watermelons up the wazzoo. I worked a shift at the Park Slope Food Coop this morning and I watched a whole lot of people snatching up Sugar Babies and other tasty varieties. I myself scooped up a seedless fellow from Maxwell Farm at the Saturday greenmarket, and later patted myself on the back when I found that I had written down one of my favorite recipes from last summer: Watermelon gazpacho.
What could be better when there are melons popping up and heirloom tomatoes galore? And right about now the mint in my untamed potted garden is going wild!
10 lb. seedless watermelon
3 large tomatoes
1 large cucumber, peeled
1 fennel bulb
1 jalepeño, seeds and ribs removed
1 handful mint
juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons good olive oil
salt and pepper
Cut the rind off the watermelon and coarsely chop – reserving 1/4 of the melon, dice into 1/4″ pieces and set aside. Using a blender or food processor, puree the remaining watermelon and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Coarsely chop tomatoes, cucumber, fennel and jalepeño and puree with mint. Transfer to the mixing bowl with the watermelon puree. Add lime juice, diced watermelon, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.
*The taste will improve after 1 day as the flavors meld. Gazpacho keeps for 2-3 days. This recipe makes about 4 quarts – great for a party or for sharing with neighbors.