Finally we're settled in the United States again in the sweltering Arizona desert. On our way out of London, we enjoyed one last dinner out at a small French brasserie in Kensington where we both huddled under an awning in sweaters while the rain fell sideways, speckling our table with English summer. Thus, like a huge block of ice, we're thawing slowly, melting into a puddle in the blazing sun.
But we couldn't be happier.
As of Thursday, we have a dining room table and chairs, a couch, and an oven that works. I can't tell you how excited I am to cook and entertain again. So excited, in fact, that we've had dinner guests every night since. Last night, our friends Anna and David joined us. It was the first time all four of our kids played together. It's good to be home.
Last night we celebrated the summer with grilled salmon and this amazing raw, vegan watermelon and serrano gazpacho, for which I can take absolutely no credit. Tyler Florence is the one chef who I can follow blindly and have every recipe turn out perfectly. He is a genius. I think you'll agree when you taste this cold soup that marries the traditional gazpacho ingredients of cucumber, tomato, and red wine vinegar with the surprising complexity of Serrano chili, dill, and fresh watermelon.
3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
3 cups ripe tomatoes, cubed
1/2 Serrano pepper (or more if you like it hot)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons red onion, minced
2 tablespoons dill, minced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, finely diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh dill for serving
Puree the watermelon, tomatoes, and chili in a blender until smooth. Add the olive oil and vinegar while the blender is still running.
Add the onion, dill, and cucumber and pulse once or twice, just until evenly distributed. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve garnished with a sprig of dill. Serve immediately or chill before serving.