You got a beautiful watermelon, cut it with anticipation…and it is mushy. Sweet but mealy. Or maybe someone “helped” you harvest melon from the garden before its ready, and it tastes more like a cucumber. Or the only watermelon available at the farmers’ market is the size of your entire refrigerator. You took it to a potluck, but there is so much left.
Amy here this week with aqua de sandía and watermelon gazpacho!
Trim the green and white parts off the watermelon (or any other melon), mash the fruit in the blender, seeds and all. Liquify. Strain and/or let it sit for a few minutes, allowing the seed bits sink to the bottom. Then it is easy to decant the the liquid off the top.
For aqua de sandía, just serve in a glass over ice with a squeeze of lime and garnish with salt and red chile powder. Or Mano Y Metate Mole Negro powder.
To make this into a meal, I ate it with the rest of my CSA share as gazpacho. I diced the garnishes to make each bowl, even each spoonful, a custom blend to suit each diner or my whim. Sometimes I toss all the would-be garnishes in the blender with the soup. It is fast and perfect for traveling.
The Armenian cucumbers are huge now, so I removed the seeds and peeled them. If the cucumbers are young, just dice. Also dice green onions, my favorite.
I also diced a small red pepper, but any color sweet or hot pepper is perfect. This makes it taste like gazpacho to me, so bought these, from a store! A few tomatoes are best used as a garnish rather than getting pureed in a sea of watermelon. Slices of bread are optional. I have eaten them whole on the side, cubed in the bowl, or blended into the mix. If you have fresh herbs, use them. Nothing is more summery then basil.
Preserved from a few weeks ago, fermented carrots and radishes and a nice tang and saltiness. To make, simply submerge veggies, ginger and garlic in a brine of 4 cups water to 3 tablespoons salt in a jar. Let sit on the counter for a couple days or until sour, then store in the refrigerator.
Drizzle with olive oil and plenty of prickly pear or red wine vinegar. Be generous with salt and black pepper. The key to this dish is balancing the sweet melon with salt and sour. Yum!