Nothing says summer quite like watermelon. Juicy, hydrating, sweet and vibrant, it’s reminiscent of childhood holidays running barefoot under the sprinkler.
Watermelon is perfect eaten on its own – the juice running down your arm, dripping off your elbows – but it’s also incredibly versatile, lending itself to salads, smoothies, barbecues and cocktails.
Nutritionally, there are lots of reasons to eat watermelon: it’s over 90% water, so it really does help hydrate us on hot days. And watermelon is a good source of Vitamins C, A and B5 as well as potassium and copper.
The melons in here in Morocco are subtly different to what I’m used to. You can somehow taste the desert in them (and I don’t mean that in a bad way). They’re also abundant, and absolutely enormous. It’s hard to find one under 12kg.
Also in season at the moment are tomatoes, and they’re quite possibly the best I’ve ever eaten . Hence this Watermelon Gazpacho, marrying sweet juicy melon with ripe red tomatoes. It’s set be become on of my summer staples: the perfect light lunch on a hot day, or a fun, festive starter for a dinner party.
- 6 cups chopped watermelon
- 5 large tomatoes
- 1 red capsicum
- ¼ red onion finely diced
- 1 bird's eye chilli seeds removed, finely chopped (or to taste)
- 2 clove garlic finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger
- Black pepper
- Sea salt
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander (or substitute basil or mint)
- 1 tomato
- 1 small cucumber
- 2 radishes
- 1 tbsp finely diced red onion
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 pinch Sea salt
- 1 pinch Black pepper
For the Gazpacho:
Dice the watermelon and remove as many of the black seeds as you can be bothered with (I think seeds are part of watermelon and a few left in is no big deal, but you may feel differently).
Roughly chop the tomatoes and capsicum.
Mince the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger.
Unless your food processor is huge, you’ll need to process this in a couple of batches. In the first, put half the watermelon, tomatoes and capsicum, and all the onion, chilli, garlic and ginger. Process this quite thoroughly, then transfer to a large bowl. Process the remaining watermelon, tomato and capsicum, this time leaving it a bit chunkier for texture. Then combine the two batches and stir well. Season to taste.
Refrigerate for an hour or so and serve chilled.
For the topping:
Dice the tomato and cucumber, slice the radish, and mix all ingredients together. Allow to sit for a few minutes for the flavours to make friends. Feel free also to add/substitute ingredients: avocado, edible flowers, dill would all be beautiful.
Just before serving, top the soup with the salad, heaping it into the middle. Add a final sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper. Bon appetit!