Several years ago we discovered the joy of watermelon and tomatoes combined in a salad that takes advantage of these summer favorites. We enjoyed it again and again and if you haven’t tried it, you should too. Here is the recipe that brought the salad into our repertoire: http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2010/07/watermelon-and-tomato-salad.html.
Knowing what a winning combination the sweetness of the fruit and the tang of the tomatoes bring to the pairing, we were intrigued by this Tyler Florence recipe. Here was a cold soup containing not just melon and tomatoes but also the cool delight of English cucumber spiked with chiles, dill and red onion and then topped with even more cubes of watermelon and the tang of Feta Cheese. Not only is the dish incredibly easy to make, it’s one of those summer coolers that you can make a big batch of and then ladle away. I served it as a starter one night and then two days later as part of a poolside lunch. Andrew, who is not a big fan of cold soups, pronounced this one a winner. And as long as you have a blender, you’re home free.
As mentioned, I made a big batch of the gazpacho and so here I have altered Tyler’s original recipe for 4 servings. Mine gives you soup for 12. If you want to cut it down, divide by three but I really think it’s one of those things that won’t sit in the fridge long and there’s very little effort in scaling up the recipe. There’s also the matter of the melon. I bought half of one at the Farmer’s Market and despite the gazpacho’s twin appearances on our table, I still had extra watermelon in the fridge. Another note: This recipe is from “Tyler’s Ultimate” which frequent readers of Chewing the Fat know, is one of my go-to-all-time favorite cookbooks (Clarkson Potter 2006). Here is the recipe, adapted in size, if not in ingredients, from Tyler’s own.
Recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho from Tyler Florence
1 large tomato, pureed
2 serrano chiles
6 cups cubed fresh watermelon
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons minced red onion
1 whole English cucumber, seeded and minced
4 tablespoons minced fresh dill, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
In a blender, puree the tomatoes, chile, and 1/2 of the watermelon. Pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and pulse. Add the onion, cucumber and dill and season with salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour into chilled bowls and sprinkle with dill, feta, and remaining watermelon. Serve.