Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

I made this delightful, refreshing and delicate gazpacho for a cooking demonstration once and completely miscalculated the quantities. We and all our friends were consuming gazpacho for days. When it finally ran out, I was astonished that everyone wanted more! I suppose that says something for this summer favorite. By the way, please do not make this using ordinary tomatoes. It just won’t be the same..

You’ll need:

1 small, seedless watermelon (approximately 5 pounds, I use the Dulcinea)
4 heirloom tomatoes
2 Persian cucumbers, peeled
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 cup cilantro
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Sriracha, optional

6 ounces Cotija cheese (Mexican aged cheese), crumbled
Cilantro micro-greens

What you do:

Cut the watermelon, tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapeno, onion and bell pepper into chunks.  In batches, add ½ of all the ingredients, except for the garnishes, into a blender.  Puree until fairly smooth.  Repeat with remaining ½ of ingredients. Pour into individual glasses or bowls and sprinkle with the desired garnish.

Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer.

John’s Wine Pairing:
I chose a 2010, Valdobbiadene, a very dry prosecco.  I like this because it’s light, fresh and cheerful.  Its effervescence makes it perfect for the first wine of the evening.  If you prefer to drink beer with this, try the Wahine by Surf Brewery.  It’s light and somewhat bitter and its sharpness works well with the gazpacho or perhaps a Stella.