Le Creuset Thurday: Refreshing Watermelon Gazpacho by Teresa O’Connor
This colorful, chilled soup provides a delicious way to eat all your fruits and vegetables, even if it’s too hot to cook.
I’ll be honest with you. When P. Allen Smith and Le Creuset invited me to participate in the Le Creuset G2B13 Challenge, my first impulse was to cook a fabulous one-pot hot dish. My mind started visualizing ingredients for a warm, nourishing Osso Bucco with local grass-fed beef, or perhaps a gorgeous fall vegetable soup with flecks of carrots, parsnips and other yummy root vegetables.
After all, Le Creuset’s Dutch ovens are renowned for superb searing and browning of meats to perfection, and the pot’s design is known to evenly distribute heat and lock in the optimal amount of moisture while cooking soups and other culinary dishes.
But then the hot temperatures started to soar outside in the garden, and I found myself craving something cool and refreshing to enjoy this summer and early fall. That’s why I decided to highlight how my Le Creuset Dutch Oven does a superb job at cooling and storing foods too.
In fact, the pan’s vitreous enamel surface is impermeable and ideal for storing foods in the refrigerator, because it doesn’t interact negatively with acidic ingredients such as wine or vinegars.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine, although I’ve changed several ingredients and proportions. It was concocted over at my friend Rhonda Callihan’s charming vintage kitchen, and one of our courageous testers called this gazpacho, “delicious and exotic.”
The chilled soup is certainly healthy. Packed with flavor and nutrition, watermelon is one of nature’s best sources of the antioxidant lycopene, not to mention a good amount of vitamin A. The thirst-quenching fruit plays a starring role in this unusual recipe, along with tasty mint, celery, cucumber, red onion and vitamin C-rich peppers and lime.
8 cups of watermelon
1 medium red pepper, diced (approximately 1 cup)
1 medium orange pepper, diced (approximately 1 cup)
½ to 1 small jalapeno pepper, diced and seeded
1 cup of pale green celery stalks
¾ cup of red onion, diced
½ cup of finely chopped mint
1 ½ cups of Persian or English cucumbers, diced (seedless)
3 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon of sea salt, more or less to taste
1/2 cup of feta cheese, crumbled
Hot sauce (optional)
This recipe couldn’t be easier or faster to make, especially when you have all your food chopped and prepared as described in the ingredients section.
1) Reserve 1 cup of watermelon; ½ cup of peppers; ¼ cup of celery and ¼ cup of red onions. Put items into your Le Creuset pan.
2) Take the remaining ingredients, except the feta cheese and a pinch of mint. Puree ingredients in a blender, adding in batches.
3) Transfer puree to Le Creuset pan. Stir well with a wooden spoon, and place in the refrigerator to chill between one to four hours.
4) Remove and serve...
Hear more from Teresa at her blog, Seasonal Wisdom. http://www.seasonalwisdom.com/