Meatless Monday #1: Watermelon and Sweet Onion Gazpacho
Welcome to the very first edition of NoshOn.It! After several weeks of work putting together all of the tech-y stuff and getting our first set of contributors, we’re very excited to be kicking things off with a very special (yet very simple) seasonal meatless recipe from acclaimed cookbook author and vegetarian food blogger, Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious.
Keep reading to get the recipe, learn more about Michael, and see our tips for picking the perfect watermelon. And, when you share this, make sure to use the hashtag #MeatlessMonday!
Why We Love It
When we first saw this recipe, it was love at first sight. Gazpacho is the quintessential summer soup, using the bounty of the season to create a bright and lively soup. Michael’s ingenuity comes in making a gazpacho out of something else that screams summer - watermelon! The beautiful thing about this recipe is how quickly and easily it comes together. Toss everything into a blender, adjust as needed, chill, and boom, you’re ready to go!
Watermelons are everywhere these days and there never seems to be enough room in the fridge to store one! This gazpacho is a great way to use up the extra watermelon you have. And, Michael shares a neat trick on how to use xanthan gum (don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds) to make sure the soup doesn’t separate. This would be great as a first course, alongside a salad for a light dinner, or served in shot glasses for a cocktail party appetizer.
The Chef: Michael Natkin, Cookbook Author, Herbivoracious
One of the main reasons we chose Michael to be our first featured Meatless Monday chef is because he’s a former software engineer turned chef and cookbook author, a fellow food techie like us! Based out of Seattle, Washington, Michael has been a vegetarian since 1984 and has dedicated himself to creating bold, full-flavored meatless dishes that will satisfy even the meatiest of carnivores. His most recent book, Herbivoracious, was published by our local friends here in Boston, Harvard Common Press, and it’s chock-full of other recipes to help you have a delicious #MeatlessMonday ever week! Make sure to say hello to Michael on his blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
The Tip: How to pick a ripe watermelon
As we’re deep into summer, watermelons are everywhere, bringing out many an old wives tale of how to make a perfect, ripe pick. While everyone has their ways, we’ve done our homework and come up with 3 tip to make sure you’re getting a ripe, sweet watermelon every time
- Turn it over: look for a creamy yellow splotch on the bottom, marking the spot where the melon ripened on the ground
- Pick it up: watermelons should be heavy for their size meaning they’re full of juice.
- Knuckle up: hold the melon away from you with one hand and give it a couple of knocks with your other knuckle. It should sound full and deep.
There is still some element of chance when picking a watermelon but using these tips, you’ll be headed in the right direction. Your best bet is to visit your local farmers’ market and get the watermelon from the farmers themselves, who will make sure to only bring the ripest and sweetest to the market.
Have you ever made gazpacho before? How did it turn out?
Do you have any other tricks on picking watermelons?
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