As a good Bulgarian I eat tomatoes all summer long, and my husband makes fun of me for never getting tired of the Bulgarian tomato salad (with a twist). This recipe mixes two of the favorite things that Bulgarians combines with feta cheese – tomatoes and watermelon.
serves: 6 difficulty: easy prep time: 15 min
- 3 medium heirloom tomatos
- 1 small cucumber
- 2-3 basil leaves
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- [optional] 1/4 Serrano chili
- 1 can tomatoes – 8 oz
- 1/2 medium sized watermelon
- 3 tbs crumbled feta cheese (has to be Bulgarian!)
Fill a medium stock pot with water, and bring it to a boil. Add the tomatoes and blanche them in the boiling water for 30 sec, until the skins start breaking. With a slotted spoon, get the tomatoes out of the boiling water, and run them under cold water to cool. The whole point of blanching the tomatoes is to make them easier to peel. So peel the tomatoes 🙂 . Cut them in half, and with your fingers take out the seedy part. Add the tomatoes to a blender.
Peel the cucumber, cut it in half lengthwise, remove the seeds and add it to the blender.
Add the basil leaves, olive oil, Serrano chili (if using it to give the gazpacho some kick), and canned tomatoes. The reason to use canned tomatoes is that without them, the rest of the mixture can get an unsavory beige color. But whatever chemicals they use in canned tomatoes to preserve their bright red color will work miracles for the visual appeal of the gazpacho.
If you have a melon baller, cut out 18 balls from the watermelon and reserve them.
Cut the rest of the watermelon in large chunks, and remove the seeds the best you can. Add them to the blender.
Blend the entire mixture until smooth. Then run it through a mesh sieve to remove any seeds. Season with salt. And the gazpacho is ready.
Chop the cherry tomatoes in quarters.
To serve, ladle the gazpacho in soup bowls. Top with the chopped cherry tomatoes, the reserved watermelon balls, and crumbled feta cheese. Drizzle some olive oil.
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