End of Summer Watermelon Gazpacho
Summer may be winding down but we are still enjoying what’s left of the summer produce before the crisp cool fall air rolls in. What better way to celebrate the end of summer than with a refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho! We tried out this dish from Simply Recipes for lunch and it was really delicious!
Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K
Watermelons are mostly water — about 92 percent — but this refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There's even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only 40 calories per cup.
Red peppers contain more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C intake, are a great source of vitamin B6 and folate, and are high in vitamin A, which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision.
Hot peppers contain capsaicin which has been shown to decrease blood cholesterol and triglycerides, boost immunity, and reduce the risk of stomach ulcers. It used to be thought that hot peppers aggravated ulcers. Instead, they may help kill bacteria in the stomach that can lead to ulcers.
1 red onion, 1/2 cup roughly chopped, 1/2 cup finely chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, 1 cup roughly chopped, 3/4 cup finely chopped
1-2 peeled and seeded cucumbers, 1 cup roughly chopped, 1 cup finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, 1 Tbsp roughly chopped, 1 Tbsp finely chopped (more or less to taste)
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
6 to 7 cups of chopped seedless watermelon (or watermelon with seeds removed)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 to 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar (more or less to taste, depending on the sweetness of the watermelon and tomatoes)
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Purée vegetables and watermelon: Put the roughly chopped onion, bell pepper, cucumber, jalapeño and cilantro into a powerful blender. (Reserve the finely chopped vegetables for adding later.) Add the tomatoes and pulse until puréed. Add the watermelon and pulse again until smooth. If your blender isn't big enough or if you prefer to use a food processor, you may need to work in batches. (An immersion blender will likely not work for this, not enough liquid.) Pour into a large bowl.
Balance the sweetness with vinegar, add salt and olive oil: Taste the gazpacho and add red wine vinegar to balance the sweetness of the watermelon and tomatoes. Depending on how sweet your watermelon is, and how acidic or sweet your tomatoes are, you may need to add less or more red wine vinegar. So, start with 1/4 cup of vinegar, and keep adding a tablespoon at a time until you've reached a balance you like. Whisk in the salt and olive oil.
Stir in finely chopped vegetables, then chill: Stir in the finely chopped onions, bell pepper, cucumber, and jalapeño. Chill for at least an hour for the flavors so blend. (It's even better chilled overnight.) Add more salt to taste if it needs it.
Garnish: To serve, garnish with diced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro. Enjoy!