Watermelon Gazpacho

I had a bit of a watermelon problem.

Stephen, who I adore and respect and love and all that other good stuff, kept bringing home ginormous whole melons. This isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, since we do love us some watermelon. But hoo boy they take up a lot of space! Seemed like a good idea to find some ways to use up large quantities all at once.

First I made a granita, similar to the strawberry one I posted recently, but with lime juice in place of balsamic. But I still had more than half a watermelon left. More than half a watermelon, people! My fridge was begging for mercy. So I asked Words to Eat By’s Facebook fans for suggestions. They came through, lord love ’em—if you’ve got a big ol’ watermelon lying around, click on through and you’ll find tons of great ideas.

I decided to give gazpacho a whirl (is that a good pun or a bad one?). My friend Winnie over at Healthy Green Kitchen posted a recipe recently and it just sounded so refreshing. Plus, gazpacho is incredibly diet-friendly, packed as it is with vegetables. Winnie’s recipe uses almonds, which is a glorious idea, but it also pumps up the calories. I decided to go my own way.

Holy cow. This is so good I’ve made it two more times already. And that big, honking watermelon is gone, baby, gone.

I may ask Stephen to buy another.

Watermelon Gazpacho
Adapted from Epicurious
Serves 4
Weight Watchers: One serving is 3 points

1/2 small red onion or 2 shallots, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 medium-size red bell pepper, seeded
1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, seeded
3 to 4 pounds of seedless watermelon, about 5 cups: 4 cups chopped, 1 cup diced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint or basil
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
As much hot sauce as you like
1/4 teaspoon salt

Soak the onions or shallots in a small dish of ice water for about 15 minutes, to remove some of their raw bite. (If you prefer them full-force, by all means skip this.) Drain them, pat dry, and put into a large mixing bowl.

Cut the vegetables into large chunks, then chop them individually in a food processor—a mini one is best, if you’ve got it. When each is in very small pieces (almost mush, but not quite), transfer to the bowl. If you don’t have a food processor, I’m afraid you’ll have to do this by hand—a blender would turn the vegetables to wet goo. I’ve done it myself, and it’s really not that bad. A cucumber and two peppers? Pshaw!

The watermelon, on the other hand, would leak like crazy from a food processor (don’t ask me how I know this). Put about 2 cups of it into the blender to start. When it’s liquefied, don’t pour it out just yet. Instead, add the other 2 cups and blend again, until everything is completely pureed. (Do NOT add the diced watermelon.)

Pour into the bowl, and add the diced watermelon and the remaining ingredients. Stir, and tinker with the lime juice/rice vinegar/olive oil/hot sauce/salt balance until it tastes good to you.

Chill for at least an hour before serving.