I've been wanting to make this recipe for a while now.
As soon as we reached warm weather I had this major food craving for gazpacho. I knew I wanted it to be amazingly flavorful and fresh but I didn't know which components I would use. For the recipe below I combined a lot of ingredients that general would not go together and made one fabulous dish. When I was verbally describing this dish to friends and family everyone said I was crazy. That reaction changed immediately as all of the indescribable flavors came together once tasted. There are a lot of mini steps that happen in this recipe but once you get pass those, serving time is instant.
I love gazpacho because you can enjoy it room temperature or chilled and garnishing is as easy as using what you have in your kitchen. Feel free to substitute the shrimp and peanuts if you are allergic with a simple and fresh salted tomato and watermelon salad.
Watermelon Gazpacho with Avocado Mousse, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Shrimp & Chili Peanuts
1/2 watermelon, cut out of the rind
1 seedless cucumber, peeled and rough chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut in quarters
1 pound of raw shrimp, shelled & deveined
1/4c - 1/2c red wine vinegar
few spoons of sugar
1c. canola oil
In a blender puree watermelon, tomatoes, red wine vinegar and cucumber in small batches, pouring into a large mixing bowl or pot once blended. Slowly add oil in thin streams while pureeing to develop a thick consistency. Once all the gazpacho is blended, season with salt, pepper, sugar, ground ginger and a little lemon juice to your taste. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Pickled Watermelon Rind: adapted from Imperial Sugar
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup extra fine granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
8 ounces watermelon rind, remove the outer green layer, cut into medium size pieces
Add vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and thyme to a small saucepan and bring to a boil.Place the cut watermelon rind in a deep bowl and set over an ice bath. When the liquid comes to a boil, pour over the watermelon rind. Make sure all of the rinds are submerged in the pickling liquid and over with a lid. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Add a few slices of lemon to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, turn the pot off, add raw shrimp, stir and cover. Allow shrimp to poach in hot water for about 6 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the liquid and cut in half.
1/2 c. shelled unsalted peanuts
1 pat of butter
In a small skillet, melt butter and add peanuts. Toast peanuts in melted butter for about 4 minutes and then add chili powder and salt. Continue to toss in the skillet until peanuts are nicely coated in chili powder and salt. Remove from heat, spreading out on a flat surface and allow to cool.
2 ripe avocados, skin and seed removed
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
In a blender puree avocado, and slowly stream in small amounts of ice water until thick and smooth. Remove from the blender and season with salt and lemon juice to taste. Place in the freezer until needed.
Remove excess liquid from watermelon rind and cut rind into small cubes. In a deep soup bowl, spoon avocado mousse in the center. Add shrimp, chili peanuts and watermelon rind and then slowly pour gazpacho into bowl. Then, eat fabulously!