I WISH I HAD A WATERMELON

September 18th, 2012

Week 5 – What’s in the box series.

Just as Stymie of the little rascals proclaimed his love of this summertime fruit (I know I am dating myself), I guess you could say loving watermelon is universal.

No other fruit says summertime more than watermelon. So if you want to quench your thirst and re-boost your body with anti-oxidants lycopene, vitamin A and vitamin C, watermelon has everything you need.

Wonderfully delicious, melons are a great source of potassium too.

Related  to the cantaloupe, squash and pumpkin, watermelon is in the Cucurbitaceae family. Naturally low in calories, one cup provides just 46 calories.

Last week there was a small, cantaloupe size, seedless, red watermelon in the box and this week a full size yellow watermelon! It was incredibly crunchy, subtly sweeter, and had a more honey like taste than the other varieties I have had. As we have been eating this delicious melon all summer by the forkfuls, I wanted to find something a little more interesting to do with this hard to find special melon.

The first time I had gazpacho was in my early twenties on a trip with a friend to Williamsburg, Va. I can remember the heat being unbearably oppressive when we sat down for lunch.  Always adventurous, even then, I wanted to try this “cold cucumber soup”.  It was unbelievably cool and refreshing.

Originating in Spain, gazpacho is traditionally a tomato, vegetable soup served cold. So when I saw a recipe for watermelon gazpacho with cucumber and tomato, I knew this was something I had to try. I combined two recipes, one taken from Bon Appétit magazine and one from Eating Well and made it my own – which is something I often do. I added more basil, substituted honey for sugar, added more tomato, left out the olive oil and finally, substituted basil syrup for vinegar:

Watermelon Gazpacho

2 cups basil leaves

4 whole cloves

2 whole star anise

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

1 ½ cups water

Place all of the ingredients above in a saucepan, boil, remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.  Let cool and then strain.

7 cups seedless watermelon 1” pieces (I used the yellow melon from the box)

1 cucumber peeled, seeded, cut in 1” pieces (from the box)

½ red pepper diced

¼ cup basil (from the box)

¼ cup parsley

1 cup peeled, seeded diced tomatoes (from the box)

½ tsp salt

½ cup fresh lime juice

Ground fresh pepper

Make two shallow cuts through the skin at the bottom of the tomatoes.  Put in a pot of boiling water until skin lifts.  Run cold water over the pot until cool.  Peel and seed the tomatoes and dice.

Combine rest of ingredients as well as the syrup in a blender or food processor (you may have to blend in batches), until smooth.  Divide gazpacho among 6 bowls, garnish with pepper and torn basil leaves.

Per serving without olive oil:  111 calories, 1.3g fat, 206mg sodium, 26.6g carbohydrates, 10.6g fiber, 10.3g sugar, 4.6g protein

This gazpacho was unexpectedly delectable, both sweet and savory, and refreshing. I may add a jalapeño next time, I think it could have used a little kick, but we absolutely loved it and I think you will too!

So now the rest of the box.  String beans were sautéed with those amazingly crisp, pop in  your mouth sun gold cherry tomatoes.

I was so excited to get more arugula; I thought that would be finished for the summer!!  My favorite way to eat arugula is to shave Parmesan reggiano cheese on top, cut up more of those  sun golds , squeeze fresh lemon, extra virgin olive oil, and  fresh ground pepper. Delish!!  Oh, and all those tomatoes, more about them next week.

Until next week, eat and savor the rest of your summertime veggies…

Madeline

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