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Watermelon Gazpacho With Charred Watermelon & Pickled Watermelon Rind

June 30, 2017

Gazpacho is great option for summer.  Cool, crisp, and clean this soup showcases the versatility of watermelon with three preparations. The contrasts in flavor and textures enhance the experience and sneaking in some silken tofu and body and viscosity to the watermelon juice.  Great option for vegetarians but would pair wonderfully with a chilled spicy crab salad with jalapeno and yuzu.   


  • Watermelon (mini, seedless) 1 ea. (about 4 cups cut)

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil 1 cup

  • Lemon juice 2 tbsp.

  • Tofu (silken) 1 cup

  • Red wine vinegar 1 cup

  • Sugar 3 tbsp.

  • Cracked black peppercorn 1 tsp.

  • Basil .5 bu.


  1. Peel watermelon, reserve the rind, and cut into large chunks. 

  2. Bring vinegar, 1 tbsp. of sugar, basil stems, and peppercorns to a boil.  While cooking the pickling liquid, remove the green of the rind from the inner white flesh.  Discard the green outer layer and dice the white.  Cover the diced watermelon rind with the pickling liquid and reserve.  Let steep for a least an hour.  (This will keep for up to 3 months)

  3. Save 1 large piece (about ¼ cup) and coat with sugar.  Brulee with blowtorch to caramelize the sugar.  (slightly char the outside of the watermelon.  Medium dice the charred watermelon and reserve.  

  4. Blend the remaining watermelon with tofu at high speed.  Stream in olive oil while blending and season with salt, cayenne, and lemon juice.  Chill.

  5. To serve: Have chilled bowls ready in refrigeration and make a salad with the charred watermelon and the pickled dice.  Divide the soup into four bowls, garnish with salad and torn basil leaves.  


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© Chef Perry Pollaci.