The temps in Texas are ridiculously HOT! Soaring upwards of 100* Fahrenheit. Heat above 100 degrees in Texas is oppressive. The wind is blowing, again….but it is not helpful as it too, is HOT. The only thing to be thankful for is that the humidity is not also sky-high.
Over the last few days I enjoyed hosting some friends from Rhode Island. A fellow food blogger and lover of life, along with her teenage daughter. I’m not sure how they withstood our outrageous heat wave but they were real troopers. To try to help beat the heat I made a batch of Watermelon Gazpacho. It is the perfect summer appetizer, light lunch or first course. It’s full of juicy fruits like watermelon, tomatoes and cucumbers. With all those juicy fruits it provides nourishment along with much-needed liquid in the heat of summer. We found it to be most revitalizing as we sipped it from juice glasses, under the welcome breeze of ceiling fans on my back porch.
When talk of what ingredients were in the gazpacho came up, the classification of cucumbers came up for discussion, fruit or vegetable. I said that I think of them as a fruit, as they are full of seeds, but the point was made that squash also have seeds and we qualify them as vegetables. So, which is it? We decided to end the conversation undecided in which was correct and just sip another glass full.
I checked Wikipedia and here is what it says: Having an enclosed seed and developing from a flower, botanically speaking, cucumbers are classified as fruits. However, much like tomatoes and squash they are often perceived, prepared and eaten as vegetables. Another way to look at it is, that vegetables are savory and fruits are sweet. Either way cucumbers are a refreshing addition to salads, veggie platters and of course are made into the ever popular pickle.
The first time I sipped a Watermelon Gazpacho, I was on the 29th floor of a Dallas high-rise with a view of downtown Dallas and a blazing sunset. I instantly asked the hostess for the recipe. I prepared a batch for an all girl pool party last summer and it was a big hit. Adoring hubby declined his portion, as men often do when gazpacho is served. He was outnumbered by girls all raving about the delicious gazpacho. The vote was unanimous that it should be renamed Girly Gazpacho. Girls, let me tell you, a cup has only 55 calories. Now, guys, you should at least taste this yummy concoction, as the refreshing flavor and chunky texture truly are a perfect summer treat, and at 55 calories you’ll still have room for a cold one!
Before I go I’ll tell you a little about the bees. They are busy but I can see the heat makes it hard on them. In the early evenings I’ve noticed them sitting on the porches of their hives trying to stay cool. Their wings are fanning furiously, pushing the heat out of the hive. I am expecting to find honey ready for harvest in the very near future. Have a favorite recipe that includes honey? I would like to try different recipes using honey and blog about the variety of dishes where honey is used, so send them to me if you will. I’ll give credit where it is due.
8 lbs. seedless watermelon
3 Kirby (pickling) cucumbers, unpeeled, cut into chunks
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 green onion, chopped
Salt to taste
Cut watermelon, remove rind and cut into 1″ chunks. You should have about 8 cups melon. In a food processor, purée 6 cups of melon in batches and pour into a large bowl.
In the same processor, purée two-thirds of the cucumber with the tomatoes, onion, basil, lime juice and salt. Stir into watermelon purée in bowl.
Coarsely chop the remaining cucumber and watermelon; add to purée in the bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve. This recipe makes about 12 cups.