Sunday, June 29, 2014

Watermelon Gazpacho

I really enjoy cold soups in summertime.  We were invited to dinner with friends last night, and I brought this soup.  Everyone loved it, and clamored for the recipe--always very gratifying!  This soup looks like gazpacho and has the same texture, but the taste is distinctive because of the watermelon.  It's quite sweet, even though there is no added sugar--it's all from the sweetness of the watermelon.  This definitely joins the list of my favorite cold soups, others of which can be found by clicking on "soup-cold" in the label list on the right hand side of this blog.

I brought this as a first-course soup for a larger meal; it easily served the 6 of us with hefty leftovers.  I think the soup would work as a light main course as well, served with a good bread and cheese or hummus.

WATERMELON GAZPACHO
adapted from http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/watermelon_gazpacho/
serves 8

1 red onion, cut in half  (Half of the first 4 ingredients will be cut in large chunks and then puréed; the other half will be finely chopped and added later.)
1 large green pepper, cut in half
1 English cucumber, cut in half 
1 jalapeno pepper, cut in half
2 cups roughly chopped fresh garden tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
7 cups roughly chopped seedless watermelon (or watermelon with seeds removed); this was have of a 5-6 lb. watermelon
1/3 c. chopped cilantro
1/4 c. red wine vinegar (or more to taste)
1 t. kosher salt
1 T. olive oil
Garnish:
        sour cream (lite is fine)
        diced avocado (I used one for 6 people)

1.     Set aside one half of the onion, green pepper, cucumber and jalapeno.  Cut the rest in largish pieces, and purée together in a food processor; put into a large bowl.
2.     Put the chopped tomatoes in the food processor and purée; add to the mixture in the large bowl.
3.     Put the chopped watermelon in the food processor (probably need to do in two batches); purée and add to mixture.
4.     Add the 1/4 c. vinegar to the mixture, and then whisk in the salt and olive oil.
5.     Take the reserved half of the onion, green pepper, cucumber, and jalapeno, and chop finely.  Chop the cilantro.  Add all to the mixture in the large bowl.  Taste, and add more vinegar and/or salt, if you like.
6.     Chill for at least a few hours; chilling overnight is also fine—tastes as good or better the second day.

7.     Garnish with sour cream and diced avocado.  Also good with a side of toasted artisan bread.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Salmon with yogurt-dill sauce

Last night we used the last remaining piece of salmon from our 2013 purchase of Sitka Salmon Shares.  The superb quality of the fish holds up amazingly well--this fish was delivered to us (frozen) last August.  The yogurt-dill sauce makes this an especially nice dish for summer.

SALMON WITH YOGURT-DILL SAUCE
4 servings

2 lemons
1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 T. fresh dill, chopped (if fresh dill is not available, use fresh parsley)
1/2 t. salt
about 1-1/4 lb. salmon fillets
freshly ground pepper & salt

YOGURT-DILL SAUCE:  Grate the peel off one lemon—you'll need about 1/2 or 1 t. (according to your taste).  Squeeze both lemons and set aside the juice.  In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, yogurt, dill, 1/2 t. salt, and half of the lemon juice (other half goes on the fish),

Put the salmon fillets on a large dish or platter.  Pour the rest of the lemon juice over the fillets and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick olive or canola spray and set over medium-high heat.  Reserving the lemon juice, add the salmon (skin side down) and cook until just opaque in the center, about four minutes on each side.  After both sides have charred some in the cooking, you can add some of the lemon juice to the pan.  My fillet was thick, and not cooked through after 8 minutes, so I added some more of the lemon juice, put a cover on the pan, and turned the heat down to low for another couple of minutes.

Alternate ways to cook the salmon:
--Bake at 425F for about 25 minutes.
--Grill on a table-top grill or outside.

Serve salmon with a generous serving of sauce on top.

There will be enough sauce to put on a side dish as well—I have made this once with small red new potatoes and once with kasha; the sauce is delicious on both.