Tag summer recipe

A Summer Celebration Recipe: Watermelon Gazpacho with Shrimp Ceviche

Courtesy of Vicki Nunn - Public Domain

Courtesy of Vicki Nunn

Tomorrow is the Fourth of July, one of my favorite holidays. Some of my favorite Independence Day memories include watching the glittering displays of fireworks against the night sky while lying in a giggling dog-pile with all the neighborhood kids, spending the day strategically eating as much as possible at our giant annual picnic, and of course, munching on crisp watermelon as the juice leaves sticky sweet trails down my arms.
Actually, watermelon is probably one of my all-time favorite components of the 4th of July — and summer in general. Watermelon selection is an event in itself. Our run to the grocery store demands a good ten minutes of searching for the biggest and sweetest smelling melon. Then, it’s back home to slice it into wedges that disappear as fast as they’re cut.

I love how versatile watermelon is, and hearing so much about watermelon flavored drinks lately makes me want to experiment myself. In particular, I hope to try this recipe for Louisa Shafia’s Watermelon, Mint, and Cider Vinegar Tonic because it sounds as crisp and delicious as the fruit itself. If you give it a go at your Fourth of July celebration, please let me know how it went!

Another intriguing watermelon recipe, I found in the Parties That Cook recipe archives. One of my summer favorite recipes is gazpacho, a cold Spanish soup that is typically tomato based. This recipe for Watermelon Gazpacho with Shrimp Ceviche definitely sparked my interest! I’m so excited to try it myself, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you.

We all have our favorite Independence Day memories and traditions. What are yours? Let us know in the comments!Shrimp Ceviche

1 large red bell pepper
1 ear corn
3 cups seedless watermelon
2 1/2 pounds ripe red heirloom tomatoes
1 pound English cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 chipotle in adobo, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons chipotle adobo sauce
2 scallions, white and green parts only
1 garlic clove
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt

Shrimp Ceviche:
1/2 lb. baby shrimp (70 count), cleaned and deveined
1/2 cup lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 Tablespoon finely chopped cilantro leaves

Roast Peppers and Corn: Roast red bell peppers over an open flame until blackened. Put into a paper bag for 5 minutes then peel off charred skin and remove seeds and stem. Roast corn over a flame, turning frequently, until the corn is charred.

Chop and Puree: Roughly chop watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, roasted red peppers and jalapeno. Cut corn off cob. Combine. Add chipotle and adobo, scallions, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, olive oil and salt. In a food processor or blender, puree the mixture until smooth. Transfer to a pitcher.

Shrimp: Combine shrimp, lime juice, salt and cilantro and allow to sit for 3 hours. Drain off juice.

Additional Tips
To Serve: In center of individual serving bowls place small mound of shrimp ceviche. At the table, pour watermelon gazpacho into the bowls around the shrimp.

Serves 10

Happy Fourth of July!

Goat Cheese Crostini Inspired by Local Goats

Courtesy of Scott Bauer

Courtesy of Scott Bauer

As summer begins, we welcome the long days of sunshine, beach weather, and gorgeous produce. I love the camaraderie of backyard gatherings and grilling adventures. Summer brings a lot of great things like s’mores, bonfires, and the permeating aromas of barbecue, but it also brings major threats like forest fires. Every summer for as long as I can remember, the evening news has reported on yet another fire burning out of control and destroying thousands of acres of trees. Granted, fires are actually good for our forests because they promote new growth. Fun fact: There are species of Pine that need the heat of a forest fire in order to release seeds for new trees. Still, I think we can all agree that a wild fire burning beyond control is terrifying. So when a few of the lovely ladies in the office started talking about a herd of goats being led across San Francisco to help prevent such fires, I was engulfed in curiosity.

Goat Cheese Crostini With Tomato JamThese goats are the “latest innovation” in preserving endangered species in environmentally sensitive areas. City Grazing reports that these animals munch up all the weeds and maintain vegetation growth without threatening the environment. Furthermore, a little research quickly showed that these herds are often hired to eat dry debris on the forest floors and lower the destructiveness of a forest fire. Cheers to an environmentally friendly way of managing vegetation! As an official B Corp, this is music to our ears.

To celebrate, we thought this recipe for Goat Cheese Crostini would be the perfect light appetizer to any summer gathering. The slightly tangy goat cheese pairs surprisingly well with the mildly sweet tomato jam, and the flavors of each compliment each other for a savory treat!