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.
This post was originally published here on May 29, 2013. I’ve since updated the photos and text.
It’s my Birthday!
I’m 37 years old today. And apparently, I’m celebrating my most recent successful trip around the sun by re-visiting this recipe for Panzanella Salad with Roasted Garlic. It’s a dish that first appeared here on the blog over 4 year ago. And it’s one that I still love to make and enjoy all Summer long.
So…is this what 37 looks like? Is my choosing to post a sensible salad recipe on my Birthday, instead of a towering three-tiered cake covered with chocolate frosting and sprinkles, indicative of old age? Or maturity? Or senility?
Honestly, I’m not sure. But whatever the reason, I’m OK with it. Because I’m pleased to report that 37 actually feels pretty gosh darn good.
So, let’s chat about this salad. It’s a recreation of a dish that I enjoyed (i.e. devoured) at a tiny Italian restaurant on Orcas Island several years ago, back when I was living in the state Washington. And while I can’t remember everything about that exact dish, their use of whole roasted garlic cloves in the salad is what stood out most in my mind. It’s what made their panzanella salad different from those I had eaten in the past. And it’s a trick that I’ve now adopted at home to help take my panzanella salads over the top.
The rest of this salad is composed of your typical Summer staples: juicy tomatoes (get heirlooms if you can!), fresh basil and tender mixed greens. And of course, we can’t forget about the toasted bread cubes. I mean, it wouldn’t really be a panzanella salad without the bread. I usually buy a loaf of whatever happens to catch my eye at the bakery that week. An Italian Pugliese or French Boule are always sensible choices. But don’t be afraid to play with different types of bread. I’ve learned from past experiments that rye bread can really add an extra punch of flavor. Or try cornbread if you need to make a gluten-free version.
This isn’t one of those salads that you can just toss together in a few minutes. It takes time to roast the garlic and prepare the other ingredients. But it’s totally worth it for those nights when you have a little bit of extra wiggle room in your schedule. Because the layers of flavors here are seriously on point.
The original version of this recipe included some buffalo mozzarella, but I’ve since started enjoying it sans cheese. Skipping the mozzarella makes this recipe vegan (just be sure to check the ingredient label on your bread), which means I get to save my “dairy points” for things like ice cream or strawberry shortcake with fancy whipped cream. Because at 37 years of age, I’m learning that life is all about balance.