What would you say if I told you I was going to serve you a mixture of watermelon, jalapeño, garlic, and feta? Don’t be scared! This is one of those recipes where you just need to trust me! For real.
Last summer I had the chance to go watch local Houston chef Monica Pope prepare two great recipes at Best Buy. I shared her amazing kale salad, but recently remembered I never posted this Watermelon Gazpacho!
Summer is the perfect time for gazpacho, a soup that is served chilled. I know—that sounds a little strange if you are unfamiliar. Soup is known for being hot, right? If you’re new to gazpacho, I’d suggest clearing your mind of soup expectations and try to think of a refreshing, savory, cool appetizer. This Watermelon Gazpacho recipe has a little bit of a kick from jalapeño and a great salty tang from feta cheese. Yum! A little sweet and a little savory, this is a unique summer treat.
This is a great summer recipe not only for the watermelon, but the great summer fruits and veggies like cucumber, tomato, and jalapeño. Don’t worry—it won’t be too hot for you unless you use the seeds. If you want more of a kick, leave in the seeds. Because I took notes on my phone watching her make the recipe, this may differ a bit from Chef Pope’s tried and true recipe. I left out vinegar (which I have issues with), trusting the lime juice would be acid enough, and I added garlic and roasted the red peppers. I LOVED this and served it to Rob’s family who gave it a big thumbs up. The taste is strange, many layered, and very refreshing. Both savory and sweet, this is a perfect start to a summer meal!
- 1 personal sized watermelon (seeded if it has large seeds)
- 1 English cucumber (or 1 regular cucumber, seeded)
- 1 seeded jalapeno pepper
- 1 roasted red pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 roma tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/4 bunch cilantro
- juice of 1 lime
- 3-4 T olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- crumbled feta (for topping)
- micro basil, micro greens, or finely chopped basil (for topping)
- Roast the red pepper by cutting it in half and leaving it on broil. When the skin blackens, remove from oven and peel under cold running water.
- Using a blender (I like the Ninja), blend the first seven ingredients. Add the cilantro, olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and pulse to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Chill for 30 or more minutes in the fridge. Serve with crumbled feta cheese and either micro basil, micro greens, or finely chopped basil.
While making this dish, I loved the vibrant colors in the ingredients. You really feel like you’re eating fresh and even your garbage is beautiful. This may be the most veggies I’ve packed into a meal lately and I was loving it! So refreshing and healthful!
This dish is definitely a surprise. With the odd combination of ingredients (garlic plus watermelon?), the flavors combine in a way that is wholly unexpected. And the high water content of watermelon and cucumber make it so very refreshing, with just the right amount of zing from the jalapeño and roasted red pepper. The salty bite of feta and fresh greens on top take it to a whole new level. Simple to make, this gazpacho feels elegant and will impress your friends and family. (Unless you tell them how simple it is to make. So don’t tell them.) Packed with raw veggies, you can definitely tell them that it’s healthy!
For your next BBQ or dinner party, think of this recipe! I guarantee you will be the only one who shows up with it, and you will have people asking for second bowls. And possibly asking you what the heck they are eating.