If winter is a season for stews, then summer is a season for cold salads and raw, seasonal fruit. It’s no wonder we crave lighter and crisper foods when the weather turns hot. Summer is the time to shed, sweat, and expand, and we can support these natural processes with the foods we eat.
Gazpacho is perfect for hot summer days when you can’t imagine turning on the stove. If you’ve never had gazpacho, imagine a flavorful mix of summer produce blended smooth and spiked with red wine vinegar and fruity olive oil. There are endless versions of this traditional Andalusian dish, and most versions include a base of tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Some versions add bread to thicken. We love the addition of watermelon, which adds a subtle sweetness to compliment the tomatoes. Ten minutes and a powerful blender is all you need. Gazpacho will keep in the fridge for three days.
Why we love this recipe:
Gazpacho is cooling, hydrating, and loaded with phytonutrients and enzymes.
Vitamin E from the avocado and olive oil protects unsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes from oxidation. Vitamin E is protective of red blood cells, providing them with more oxygen to carry to tissues. Pair antioxidant-rich gazpacho with summer BBQ to help protect the body from heterocyclic amines (HCAs) produced when meat is grilled over an open flame.
Vitamin C from the tomatoes and red bell pepper help the body produce collagen in blood vessel walls and maintain fragile capillary walls. Along with Vitamin E, Vitamin C is essential for the health of the cardiovascular system.
Gazpacho (makes about 3 ½ cups)
2 large ripe red tomatoes
1 red bell pepper, seeds and stem removed
1 cup cubed watermelon
½ cucumber, unpeeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
To garnish: Cubed avocado, finely diced shallot, drizzle of olive oil, chopped parsley
1) Place tomatoes, red bell pepper, watermelon, cucumber, garlic, and red wine vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth.
2) Turn blender speed to low and add olive oil in a slow, steady stream.
3) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust seasoning with more vinegar, olive oil, salt, or pepper.
Top with garnishes. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.