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WATERMELON GAZPACHO with Avocado

I make endless batches of gazpacho in the summer. It’s a fast and easy lunch, and an ideal way to use up the inevitable pile of overripe, leaky tomatoes piled on the counter (I can never resist buying too many pretty heirlooms in August). Usually I wing it and just throw tomatoes, olive oil, salt, onion, and cucumber into the blender, smoothie-style. It’s always good. But when I’m blending gazpacho for guests, I’ll break out this tried-and-true recipe, which has added watermelon for sweetness and avocado for a creamy contrast. You can pair this with the Spanish tortilla on this page for a tapas-inspired meal. Or for something simpler, serve it with toast covered with sliced hard-boiled eggs (this page) dressed with mayonnaise or olive oil and maybe an anchovy or two. You can blend the gazpacho up to six hours ahead; just hold the garnishes until just before serving.

1 pound juicy ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 2-inch-long piece of a day-old crusty baguette (about 2 ounces), torn into pieces

1 cup diced seedless watermelon

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and sliced (1 cup)

2 tablespoons chopped red onion

1 garlic clove, grated on a Microplane or minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 ice cube

½ avocado, peeled and diced

TOTAL TIME: 15 MINUTES + AT LEAST 15 MINUTES CHILLING

SERVES 2

1. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, bread pieces, ½ cup of the watermelon, the cucumber, red onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and ice cube. Puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of water if it seems too thick.

2. Chill the gazpacho in the refrigerator until it is very cold, at least 15 minutes and up to 6 hours. Serve garnished with the remaining chopped watermelon and the avocado.

 

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