Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who is the fruitiest of the evil Smurfs? Gargamelon.

My mother's comment when I told her I was making watermelon gazpacho today was something along the lines of, "That sounds incredibly unappealing." Andy was dubious, if less so, that watermelon would work in gazpacho form. But even he admitted that it turned out surprisingly good. I immersion blended about five cups of watermelon, three smallish tomatoes, a little chopped jalapeno (easy on this stuff), the juice and zest of half a lime, and some paprika, white pepper, and salt. To garnish, I mixed some chopped cucumber and red onion, cubed feta, some fresh basil, and a few drops of balsamic vinegar and plopped that on top. It's probably not for everyone--I mean, most people aren't huge fans of the watermelon/tomato combination to begin with, much less pureed--but we found it refreshing and novel.

We had a later dinner than usual tonight, so there was exactly zero natural light available to make the beautiful colors of the soup and garnish actually appear beautiful in these photos. 'pologies. Average the really bilious first picture and the murky second one, and you'll get something closer to the true, appetizing shade.

I made a (once again massive) loaf of ciabatta that we ate alongside the soup. The crumb was amazingly moist and might drive me to use this recipe as my go-to. The only problem is that the crust softened within an hour of taking it out of the oven. Ciabatta crust isn't as crisp and crunchy as, say, just a rustic boule or some such, but it should be a little crunchier than it ended up, I think. It wasn't bad--to the contrary!--but it was inexplicable. Can anyone deinexplicate it?

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