The Occasion: First course for a dinner party – which is how I served it a few weeks ago; or as the main event for a light lunch or supper, sharing the placemat with a simple piece of grilled fish.
Why This? Inspiration comes from Restaurante Amelibia in Laguardia, Spain, where we enjoyed a marvelous lunch during a wine tour in the Rioja region during a recent vacation. (Read more about our Spain getaway here – Barcelona and San Sebastián; Bilbao and wine tour recap to come.) I doctored up an excellent recipe from Food Network to more closely match the fruit-forward gazpacho we had there.
Serve With: Herb-flecked flatbread or crackers, or a small salad of baby greens. Something with a bit of bite or chew to it, in contrast to the silky smooth texture of this sophisticated gazpacho.
Recipe slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine
- 3 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties, chopped
- 3 cups diced seedless watermelon
- 2 cups hulled, chopped strawberries
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 1/3 cup loosely packed basil and mint, plus small leaves for topping
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- Place the tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, bell pepper, shallot, basil and mint in a large bowl. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in the olive oil and vinegar.
- Puree the tomato mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing to extract any liquid; discard the solids and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
- To serve, top the soup with the small herb leaves, half a strawberry, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Tasty Tip: Use basil-infused oil to really amp up the flavor.