The April A to Z Blog Challenge today brings us to the Letter W. Summer is the season of fresh fruits. From jewel-like berries to juicy peaches and nectarines, fresh fruit is a perfect choice for healthy food options and dessert alternatives. With abundance of fresh fruits in the summer, one can experiment with different flavors, creating different dishes to please your palate.
Growing up in India, generally speaking the population most looked forward to the king of Indian fruit – Mangoes and in some parts – Lychees. I for one loved a chilled watermelon bowl. All I needed was some cracked black pepper and fork, and I was satiated. Even now when the heat is oppressive, I loose my appetite easily; watermelon literally is my diet for the summer. Now a girl gotta eat but the same bowl of melon? Tinkering around with watermelon, today I am sharing two of my favorite recipes as an adult. Which are sure to please even the most sophisticated palate.
Watermelon and Heirloom Salad
I typically make this salad only in the summer since most of the ingredients are at their ripest in summer. This salad is not only attractive in appearance, the textural interplay of the ingredients makes it unique too.
- 3 or 4 heirloom tomatoes, in assorted colors, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 English cucumber, cut into cubes
- 2 cups red seedless watermelon flesh, cubed
- 1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: basil, tarragon, chives, and parsley
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, watermelon, avocado, and herbs.
- Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
My family savors the refreshing flavors of gazpacho.To further add complexity to the refreshing, chilled bowl of soup, I add a hint of roasted jalapeno oil. Just a tiny bit to kick up the heat a notch.
- 2 cups chopped English cucumber
- 1 cup chopped and peeled tomatoes
- 2 cup chopped seedless watermelon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 3 cups tomato juice
- Sprig of thyme
- Balsamic Glaze
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tbs chopped cilantro
- chives for garnish
- roasted jalapeno oil
- Mix all the ingredients except the balsamic glaze and garnish together, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
- The next day, remove the thyme and blend all the ingredients in a blender until the gazpacho is smooth. Strain the soup for a smoother texture.
- To serve: ladle the soup in your choice of bowl, sprinkle a bit of garnish, squeeze a few drops of balsamic glaze and serve chilled.
Watermelon is extremely versatile; from simple fruit salad, salsas, soups, cocktails, and frozen delights, the choices are endless and healthy I may add. Summer is short! Make sure you squeeze every drop of joy out of it!!