I love summer. Followers of my blog Barefoot and Cooking know that, I look forward to summer produce all year long. My husband laughs at me for getting so excited about tomatoes, corn on the cob, and all the other yummy goodness that summer heralds. But you should know, he is most certainly NOT laughing when I serve up tantalizing meals that he has to be nice to me in order to earn. (Okay, not really. I mean, the food is delicious; but, I donâ€™t get to pick and choose when I feed my husband. And, letâ€™s be really honest here and just admit that I love cooking and one of the many pleasures of being married is that I have a guinea pig to test all my culinary adventures. Just please donâ€™t tell him I compared him to a rodent. If he finds out, I might have to start earning my meals.)
Back to the food. As far as Iâ€™m concerned, summer is the time for light refreshing meals that donâ€™t take forever to cook and donâ€™t leave you feeling weighted down. One of my favorite things about summer produce is the wide array of flavors available. There is little need for fancy preparation or long hours spent in the kitchen. Why not try a fun twist on Gazpacho that comes together quickly and is sure to please your taste buds?
Gazpacho originated in the Andalusia region of Spain. Traditional gazpacho is a raw tomato-based soup that is served chilled. Iâ€™m excited to share, with you, one of my favorite variations â€“ Watermelon Mint Gazpacho. I love the sweetness the watermelon lends to the acidity from the tomatoes. Refreshing mint is a welcome change from the more traditional addition of parsley. Combining heat from the yellow wax chili and coolness from the cucumber, this gazpacho will delight your senses.
Often enjoyed as a first course, I prefer to serve this Watermelon Mint Gazpacho as a passed hors dâ€™oeuvres at outdoor parties. In fact, we did exactly that with a traditional tomato gazpacho at my (indoor) wedding last summer.
Watermelon Mint Gazpacho
4 cups cubed watermelon
1 Persian cucumber, peeled (or Â½ regular cucumber, seeded and peeled)
1 medium tomato, seeded
Â¼ cups sweet onion
2 teaspoon yellow wax chili pepper, chopped
7 mint leaves + more for garnish
Â½ teaspoon salt
Apple cider vinegar
Finely dice cucumber, tomato, onion, and chili pepper.
In a blender combine watermelon, mint leaves, half of the diced vegetable mixture, and salt. Puree until thick and creamy.
Carefully stir in the remaining diced vegetable mixture.
Add a splash of apple cider vinegar over each individual serving. Garnish with extra mint leaves.
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