The News (New Glasgow)

Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho


Cowin’s take on this recipe: “When I tasted it, it was way too sweet. I hadn’t taken into account the amount of natural sugar in the watermelon I was using. This failure served as an indelible reminder that ingredient­s are not always the same, so you need to taste as you go. To learn more about making gazpacho, I got advice from Alex Raij of La Vara in Brooklyn, New York, whose Spanish food is simple and delicious.”


• 2 lbs. ripe plum tomatoes

• 1 ½ lbs. peeled seedless watermelon, cut in 1-inch chunks (about 4 cups)

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) Sriracha, plus more to taste

• 2 small garlic cloves, minced

• ¼ cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste

• 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste

• 3/4 cup (177 mL) buttermilk (optional for drizzling)


Diced avocado, cilantro leaves, thinly sliced scallions, crabmeat For gazpacho, toss all ingredient­s together in a large bowl. Transfer half of mixture to a blender (not a food processor). Pureé until smooth. Press the gazpacho with a ladle or wooden spoon through a medium strainer into a pitcher or serving bowl. Discard contents of the strainer. (If you prefer a chunkier texture, you can skip the straining. Ditto if you have a powerful blender like a Vitamax.) Repeat with remaining tomato mixture. Refrigerat­e gazpacho for at least 2 hours before serving. Stir gazpacho and season with additional Sriracha, lemon juice and salt as necessary. Serve ice-cold topped with garnishes.

Serves 4 to 6. Tips from Raij:

• For the creamiest consistenc­y, use a blender, not a food processor — ideally, a Vitamix.

• To extract the most tomato flavour, use the whole tomato. You can always strain out what you don’t want, but seeds and skin have a lot of acidity, complexity of flavour and textural assets to contribute.

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