EVENT: FOOD BLOGGER LOVE – VALENTINE’S DAY
RECIPE: WATERMELON GAZPACHO
Watermelon Gazpacho, full of fresh ingredients is so light, refreshing and a wonderful balance of sweet and savory. Serve at garden parties or BBQ parties as a summer time starter or appetizer. Gazpacho is classic Spanish Soup, generally made from tomatoes and served chilled. Watermelon Gazpacho is a different take on the classic recipe.
This is the first time I’m participating in the annual event #FoodBloggerLove Valentine’s Day. This event is organized by PinterTest Kitchen. The blog is run by Sharon Boyer and her two daughters Allison and Jessica. Basically, you sign up for the event (it was a group I’d joined to share recipes and to get to know other bloggers, but forgot about the group till I got the invite to join in this event). Here, it works like secret Santa. I got assigned a blogger and some else will get me.
The deal is to either prepare something from the assigned blog or prepare something that he/she would like.We share our recipes on the same day(Please scroll down right to the bottom to see what other bloggers have prepared).I was waiting with much excitement to see who I would get…seriously this is the first time I’m actually participating in this ‘Secret Santa’ game. Never ever participated in it but have heard all about the excitement and joy from my daughter where her work place engages in it every year for Christmas.
I Was Assigned…
Anyway, I was assigned Blake Turck who blogs at Style Island. The first time I visited her blog, I obviously just went straight to her food section. Wanted to see if I could prepare something from her blog. She has many recipes that are drool worthy and easy to prepare. However, remembering her obsession about souping… I decided to make a soup that somehow fits into the Valentine’s theme and is healthy and quite different from the usual strawberries and chocolate loaded recipes.
Get to Know Style Island Briefly
Coming back to Blake’s blog, Style Island, after the initial browsing on the food section, I then turned to my next favorite section and that is travel. You’ll find getaways, tips on traveling, why you should visit places, hotel reviews, etc etc. There is so much to read. I was about to skip the style and beauty section but am so glad that curiosity got the better of me. I stumbled upon a guide to getting more sleep and slowly am trying to follow the tips. Still struggling to get up earlier but will work on it. Wondering which movie to watch during the weekend? Then check out her entertainment section. She recommends movies right from horror to mother daughter ones and has reviewed quite a few. You’ll definitely need to hop over to her blog if you want an online magazine. Full of info and interesting read, I’m hooked. Only problem is if I read it at bedtime, how do I take care of the artificial light that keeps me awake? Oh well, maybe Blake will come up with an article that makes me count sheep.
Why Did I Choose Watermelon As My Main Ingredient?
Well besides treating Blake with a soup, being red in colour, and in full season in Kenya, various other factors played a role in the decision making. Did you know that in China guests offer their hostess watermelons as a gift? Mark Twain called watermelon the food of angels. And wait for this one… its among the food group that is listed as aphrodisiacs! Rich in citrulline which is good for the vascular system(anything heart related is good!). So why not give watermelon some importance during the season of love. Though watermelon is 92% water, its a rich source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene and amino acids.
Some More Valentine’s Day Recipes:
A Bit About Watermelon Gazpacho
I have used fresh ingredients including fresh tomato puree. However, you can use tinned tomato puree or tomato juice. Add red chilli according to your taste. If you don’t get any fresh red chilis, then by all means use red chilli powder, cayenne pepper or paprika powder. The final colour of the gazpacho will entirely depend on the colour of the watermelon, tomato puree and bell pepper.
Serve Watermelon Gazpacho in small shot glasses as an appetizer. Can add a dash of alcohol if you wish. I sometimes serve it with a splash of vodka.
Blake Turck, I hope you love this chilled gazpacho that I’ve prepared for you. Wishing you all the good things in life and an enjoyable love filled Valentine’s Day.
Ingredients Required For Watermelon Gazpacho
- Watermelon – cut into chunks. I left the seeds as they are also good for you.
- Cucumber – I used English Cucumber. As the skin is thin and tender, I didn’t peel the cucumber.
- Celery – use celery stalk.
- Red Sweet Pepper – cut into chunks.
- Tomato Puree – fresh or canned. Or can use thick tomato juice.
- Fresh Mint – a handful
- Red Chilli – I used one. Remove the seeds. If you don’t have fresh red chilli, use a green one or add red chilli powder, cayenne pepper powder or paprika powder.
- Fresh Ginger – peel about half and inch of ginger or use 1 tsp paste.
- Salt – add according to your taste.
- Black Pepper – powder
- Lemon or Lime Juice – fresh if possible
- Vinegar – don’t omit of possible as it adds flavour. Use any good quality vinegar of your choice. I have used balsamic vinegar.
- For Garnishing:
Finely chopped watermelon, cucumber and some mint leaves
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- 2-3 cups watermelon 500g diced
- ½ cup English cucumber 100g diced
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp lemon or lime
- ¼ cup red pepper 50g diced
- 1 red chilli remove the seeds and chop
- ½ cup homemade tomato puree
- 1 tbsp vinegar good quality
- ¼ - ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- ½ cup fresh mint
- For garnishing:
- 2 tbsp finely chopped watermelon
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
- 2-3 chopped mint leaves
- Add watermelon, cucumber, ginger, red pepper, red chilli,tomato puree, celery stalk and mint into a blender.
- Blend till you get a thick coarse mixture.
- Add salt, pepper, vinegar and lime juice.
- Process for a few seconds.
- Chill the gazpacho for 1-2 hours.
- Pour into serving glasses.
- Mix the finely chopped watermelon, cucumber and mint.
- Garnish with the mixture and serve.
- For a touch of romance, add hearts cut out from watermelon.
- Adjust the taste of chili, salt and lime or lemon according to your taste.
- Use a jalapeño instead of red chili.
- Can use basil instead of mint.
- To make fresh homemade tomato puree, put 4-5 tomatoes in a pan. Add very little water. Cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook over low heat. Puree the tomatoes.
- Serve in shot glasses as a starter.
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