Best Of the Season Week: Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho
My guy friends used to tease me that if you wanted to be in my good graces then don’t suggest I have anything to do with the three things I hate. They’d say, “Bridges, tomatoes and dogs!” don’t bring them up with her. I thought their monologues about my weird phobias were hysterical. I’d also think it was a riot that they’d slip tomato chunks into my shampoo bottle. As I write about it now, not so hysterical. For some reason, it was funnier when we were drunk in Fire Island. Yet it’s all still true. (Sorry to all you dog lovers. I love animals, just can’t live with a dog.)
Oddly, without me ever prompting her, Scarlett does not like tomatoes. She does, however, love her Grandpa’s homemade tomato sauce, ketchup and salsa. She’s just like myself. I don’t push her about her disapproval with the vegetable because she’s initiated a lot of incidents where she’s tried them. “Mommy, I’ll just have this one,” she’d say popping a cherry tomato out of a salad and into her mouth. The kids tried. I think it may be a texture thing with her. I know that’s the case with me.
The problem is that it’s hard not to comment on tomatoes during a “Best of the Season” week though. Tomatos are rich in lycopene as is watermelon, so this soup is a fullout antioxidant boost for the body. (Lycopene helps guard against some cancers including breast and prostate.) So, in an effort help my daughter (and myself) get more of the lycopene rich veggie outside of our usual pasta dinners, I decided to give this gazpacho recipe I found by Whole Foods a whirl. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Dan eat Gazpacho for a week?
Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho
6 cups roughly chopped seedless watermelon, divided
3 cups roughly chopped tomatoes, divided
1 shallot, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, divided
salt and pepper to taste
Toss 51/2 cups of the watermelon, 2 1/2 cups of the tomatoes, shallots, oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro into a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to mesh strainer and place above a large bowl. Strain the puree, pressing as much of the contents through as possible. Discard leftovers. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.
Finely chop remaining 1/2 cup watermelon, 1/2 cup tomatoes and 2 tablespoons cilantro and mix together in a bowl. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with watermelon and tomato mix, and serve.
I know you’ve heard me say this before, but this recipe was easy. I mean, for real! Scarlett and I snacked on the watermelon as we cut it and I tossed the pieces as well as the very, very, very roughly chopped tomato into my food processor. The rest gets pitched in and it’s done.
When we tried it, Scarlett said (and I swear this is the truth) “Oh my Mommy, this is so good.” I couldn’t disagree with her. With a salad, vegetable side and/or pasta, it a refreshing component of any summer meal.
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I once spent a summer as a counselor at a sleep away camp in the Catskills. (Stay with me…this is going somewhere about kids and nutrition.) I was in charge