watermelon gazpacho, elephant garlic, and grilled tempeh…that’s summer, all right

Happy summer, everybody!

So first, the big news: I have a grill. Oh yeah, things are gonna start happening for me now. Things like grilled tempeh. And grilled sliced onion. And grilled peaches. Seriously, world, watch out.

Our maiden voyage was, of course, barbecue tempeh, because I love it more than I love new socks, which is a lot. To round out our summertime feast, I made some spicy watermelon gazpacho and a nice little bread ‘n’ spread.

 

So let’s talk watermelon gazpacho. I could eat watermelon every day. It just doesn’t get old. Maybe it’s the water.

I’ve never had gazpacho before, tomato or not. I just saw a photo somewhere and it said watermelon gazpacho. Little hearts appeared in my eyes, falling-in-love-on-60s-TV-style. As is my way, I couldn’t make the recipe as it stood, so here’s what I did:

1 mini seedless watermelon (not the mini mini, just the mini)
1 cucumber, peeled
2 bell peppers, anywhere from yellow to red
1 hotter pepper, so a jalapeno or anaheim, maybe even habanero—totally depends on how you like your heat
2 shallots
couple of fistfuls of parsley and cilantro
dash of olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar (and I added maybe another T or so later—gotta taste as you go, you know?)
juice from a lime
¼–½ t salt

For the fruit ‘n’ veg, about 75% of each was chopped up fairly corsely; it would be pureed later, so I wasn’t too worried about it. The other 25% was diced. Of course, the shallots were minced, and I chopped the herbs up pretty finely.

I left out the diced stuff, but everything else went into a GIANT bowl and I hit it with my immersion blender. Finally, I added the diced stuff, stirred it up, and sent it off to the refrigerator to mingle.

 

Our summertime houseguest scored this impressive head of elephant garlic from a friend of a friend’s garden. I just peeled off some of the outside skin, keeping the head in tact, wrapped it up in foil, and threw it in a 400° oven for about an hour. It got gorgeous and soft and sweet. The consistency was seriously like a cooked potato.

For the buttery spread, I mixed some Earth Balance, olive oil, just a little nooch, and two fistfuls of parsley up with an immersion blender. Then I let it set up in the fridge while everything else was cooking.

To eat it, I spread some of the parsley butter on the bread, then smooshed the better part of a clove of elephant garlic on top of that. Oh my my.

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