Hi Friends! I hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July weekend. Can you believe today is already Thursday? I mean, it’s pretty awesome that the week is almost over. But I also feel totally behind and out of whack. The whole Tuesday Holiday thing has really messed with my brain (and my schedule).
But I can’t complain. Because my weekend was really flipping awesome. Most weekends, I tend to work way more than I should. It’s super hard for me to let go of my responsibilities (even my fictitious responsibilities) and relax. But this weekend, I said “screw it” and I completely soaked in all the glory that is Summer. I went boating, had a pool party, went to a cook-out, ate s’mores, drank beers, listened to live music, had a girl’s night and just generally had a blast.
I’m tired. And I have a lot of catching up to do now. But it was completely worth it.
I also did a lot of cooking and baking (for aforementioned parties and cook-outs). So this week, I’m taking it easy in the kitchen. Which means this Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho with Chimichurri Sauce is on repeat.
There aren’t many foods I can think of that are as quick to prepare as a chilled soup. Just trim and chop your produce. Then drop it all straight into your blender and push the button. Easy peasy.
My house stays cool. And so do I. That’s a major win in my book.
This recipe is loosely adapted from Ina Garten’s gazpacho recipe, which I used to make religiously each Summer. But now I prefer a smoother texture (I don’t want to feel like I’m eating salsa with a spoon!), so I blend mine more thoroughly. And I’ve added in fresh watermelon to give it some sweet notes, all while really upping the hydration factor. The homemade chimichurri sauce makes great use of Summer’s bounty of fresh herbs. And it provides a necessary savory contrast to the sweetness in the gazpacho. Remember, this is suppose to be soup. Not a smoothie bowl.
You can use any kind of tomatoes you like. Roma or plum tomatoes are what I gravitate towards most often, because they have fewer seeds than some other varieties. But it’s hard to resist those beautiful heirlooms this time of year. So use what you love and/or have on hand. Also, don’t be afraid to play with the proportions in this recipe. If you want more zip, increase the amount of jalapeño pepper or red onion. If the soup seems too sweet to you, drizzle some vinegar on top before serving to cut the sweetness. It’s hard to go wrong here. Especially when all the Summer produce is so abundant and flavorful.
It’s also fun to play with additional toppings. If you want something more hearty, try adding croutons, crumbled cheese, a spoonful of Greek yogurt, chopped nuts or some roasted chickpeas. The watermelon stars are cute, but totally optional.
I’m sharing this Watermelon and Tomato Gazpacho with Chimichurri Sauce as part of our monthly 30 Minute Thursday series. You can find more quick and easy recipe ideas below (just click the links!). Or check out the hashtag #30MinuteThursday on Instagram for additional inspiration. Because it’s way too nice out to be stuck inside cooking dinner!
Cheesy Beef Tortellini Skillet by Pumpkin ‘N Spice
Lemon Garlic Shrimp and Zucchini Noodles by Kristine’s Kitchen
Grilled Fig, Bacon, and Arugula Flatbread Pizza by Flavor the Moments
Avocado Pesto Quesadillas by She Likes Food
Mexican Quinoa Salad by Life Made Sweeter
Southwestern Grilled Turkey Burgers (Freezer) by Sweet Peas & Saffron
One Pot Pasta Primavera by The Recipe Rebel
Shrimp Quesadillas with Avocado Cream by Bake.Eat.Repeat.
Recipe inspiration comes to me in many forms. Random ideas often pop into my head when I’m out walking or taking a shower. I scrupulously study menus at restaurants in search of new-to-me flavor combinations. And a quick scroll through Instagram will have me jumping out of my chair and speeding off to grocery store for supplies in a heartbeat.
But nothing will get my creative juices flowing like a trip to the farm.
A few weeks ago, our chive fields were in full bloom. There was a seemingly endless sea of purple and green that stretched out from my feet for as far as the eye could see. And I was there for the taking (literally). Armed with my camera, a pair of scissors, a handful of small rubber bands and an empty shopping bag, this bumper crop was coming home with me. Well, at least a tiny portion of it was.
I snatched up several bunches of chives and once I found myself back in my own kitchen, I got to work experimenting with their blossoms. I made a chive blossom vinegar. I whipped some of the purple buds into a honey-sweetened goat cheese, which I then proceeded to slather on everything. And I started tossing them into salads, soups and side dishes. Chive blossoms have a delicate onion flavor and so far, I haven’t found a single savory dish that they don’t work well in. The possibilities appear limitless. Also, their cuteness factor is on point.
Today’s recipe for Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms is a variation of this green bean and apple salad that I created last September. I also took some cues from Brooke’s brilliant green bean and nectarine pairing, which you can find beautifully photographed and written up here. Her recipe is what really inspired me to give my previous version a facelift for Summer.
This is a dish that only takes a few minutes to prepare and uses a minimal number of ingredients. But it’s anything but boring. There are several layers of flavors and textures, which makes eat bite something to write home about. From the slight char on the still crisp green beans (a cast iron skillet is your best option here for cooking the green beans), to the jam-sweetened dressing, to the fresh pops of purple and orange from the chive blossoms and apricots, respectively. It all just works in an effortless kind of way. Exactly how a Summer side dish should be.
This dish is great served either warm or chilled. And it’s completely dairy free (= no immediately spoilage concerns). Which, in my humble opinion, makes it the perfect dish to serve at an outdoor gathering. Those 4th of July parties will be here before you know it. Time to start planning.
And playing. I encourage you to try swapping out the apricots for peaches, plums or even cherries. And try adding in a handful of toasted almonds or walnuts, if you want more crunch.
I’m sharing this recipe for Blistered Green Beans with Apricots and Chive Blossoms as part of a very special event that’s taking place today on the internet today: the Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace organized by Saghar from Lab Noon.
This virtual event is a chance for myself and other like-minded bloggers to stand together and make our voices and opinions known. To deliver a positive message. To say “hey, I’d rather share a dish and a conversation with you, instead of fighting with you”. Or “let’s celebrate all the things we have in common, instead of battling over the things that make us different”.
My voice may be small. But it’s what I have. And I’m not afraid to use it. To say “NO” to terror, oppression and hate. And to say “YES” to peace, love and respect.
I hope you’ll be inspired to make your voice heard as well.
You can find out who all the other bloggers are who are participating in our Virtual Midsummer Potluck for Peace by clicking on this link. Or check out the hashtag #VirtualMidsummerPotluck4Peace on social media. You’ll discover a lot of uplifting messages and stories. As well as some wonderful Summer food and drink recipes that are perfect for sharing.