Thursday, August 25, 2011

Notes from Nikki-Melon Soup, Gazpacho and Farm Fresh Bloody Marys

I am somewhat reluctant to post these great recipes from Nikki because I am afraid Hurricane Irene (and the past rain) will put an abrupt end to both the tomatoes and melons. However, the recipes are too good not to share and maybe you still have tomatoes and melons laying around your kitchen. Enjoy these three great recipes.

Fresh Bloody Mary Cocktails
The slicing tomatoes are stockpiling in our house between our Inverbrook share and what we have growing in the backyard. We're having a hard time keeping up. One of the many reasons I love August. Anyway, I decided to throw together a couple of cocktails to be enjoyed by my hard-working husband and myself on a Tuesday night, just because. Feel free to leave out the vodka. These are still divine as virgin drinks. Enjoy!


6-8 small-medium slicing tomatoes, 2-4 wedges reserved for garnish (I used a combination of yellow and red tomatoes which made the drinks a lovely sunset color.)
3-4 T worcestershire sauce
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2--2/3 C vodka (optional)
Dash or two (or three) of hot sauce (I use Louisiana's Pure Crystal Hot Sauce)
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
Fresh parsley leaves

1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender until liquified.
2. Run the tomato puree through a fine mesh sieve to catch the skins and seeds (or leave them in for a more rustic treat).
3. Mix in the worcestershire, lemon juice, vodka (if using), sea salt, and hot sauce.
4. Pour the mixture over ice, garnish with plenty of pepper, parsley, and a tomato slice (or a lemon wedge or celery stick).
5. Serve and enjoy.

Makes 2 large or 4 small cocktails.

Cantaloupe Soup
I am full of melon ideas lately; can you tell? Melons are one of my favorite summertime treats and I love the melons that we're getting from our Inverbrook share this season. Delicious! The following recipe was literally devoured by my kids. It was so good! A fun soup for the last of our summer days. I hope you enjoy it too!


1 medium-large or 2 small cantaloupes, rind removed and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 C sour cream
Pinch of sea salt
Leaves from 5-6 sprigs of tarragon
2 T honey (give or take, depending on the sweetness of your cantaloupe)

1. Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (work in batches if need be). Taste and adjust to your liking.
2. Chill for a bit, and serve.

Serves 8

Watermelon Gazpacho
It's melon season, and I'm savoring the last days of summer ingesting mounds of these sweet-flavored, fleshy fruits. The watermelons from our Inverbrook share have seeds (imagine that!), and I decided to leave them in this soupy salsa, partly out of laziness, and partly because I like the looks of them. If you feel like fishing them out, by all means, do so. I added one of the small pasilla peppers from this week's share to the mix. This gave the dish a decent kick, just the way I like it. If you'd rather not include so much heat, use just part of a hot pepper (no seeds), or leave out the pepper completely. Enjoy!


1-2 small cucumbers, diced (I used lemon cucumbers and left the peel and seeds intact; if you feel like peeling and/or seeding, go for it)
1-2 small watermelons (or 1 medium), rind removed, flesh diced (large dice is fine)
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium (or 2 small bell peppers), seeded and diced (I used one red and one green)
1 small hot pepper, seeded and diced (see headnotes)
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of chopped parsley
Handful of chopped mint leaves
Dash or two of rice vinegar
Sea salt

1. Combine all the ingredients, allow to sit at room temperature for about 15-20 minutes so the flavors can meld, and serve (leftovers will keep well covered in the fridge for at least a couple of days).

Serves 8-10 as a side dish

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