Possibly two years since I last make this deliciously refreshing summer treat during my Book Writing Tour 2013, I prepare it again for this week’s Special Dish for the Week to enjoy with my host and fellow guests on Pender Island:
Watermelon Gazpacho with Lemongrass and Cardamom
During my recent visit on Pender Island, I decide to surprise my friends with this refreshingly sweet and spicy mid-afternoon cocktail. It is indeed a thrill for everyone on a hot sunny day on the patio.
Rather than serving it in a bowl as a soup, I use large wine glasses to layer cubed watermelon and diced avocado onto the bottom, filling the glass with the spiced watermelon and tomato purée, and top it off with some freshly chopped cilantro. We enjoy these cocktails with a teaspoon in hand, while sharing ideas and secret ingredients for making this nutritious snack such a hit. The blooms from a nearby bushy tree adorn the table for an added touch.
The ingredients of this gazpacho include:
- 1 small watermelon, puréed using my handheld smoothie blender
- 2 medium tomatoes, likewise puréed into the watermelon
Mixed into the purée are:
- 1 clove garlic, chopped using my small electric chopper
- 1 in. ginger, chopped with the garlic
- 1 large shallot, chopped with the garlic and ginger
- 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1 red Thai chili pepper, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/2 cup fresh lemongrass extract, prepared in advance
- cardamom seeds from several pods
- 1/2 tsp cardamom seed powder
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- cilantro leaves, chopped for garnish
- 1/4 small watermelon, cubed for garnish
- 1 avocado (1/4 per glass), diced for garnish
Served chilled, after allowing the flavours to infuse, it is most refreshing on a warm summer day. I have still to figure out what liquor would make this soup into a spiked summer cocktail best…
Meal ideas & recipes from Maria Elia’s “The Modern Vegetarian” book from a good friend.