Summer has most definitely arrived with temperatures reaching 33 degrees here in Paris today and rising up to 37 in other parts of France.
I have spent the day indoors with the shutters closed watching the tennis at Roland Garros, two years ago I was there beneath a sweltering 35 degrees heat, but thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! I remarked that when watching Roland Garros, you are faced with a sea of white panama hats from the spectators stands, whilst at Wimbledon, you are more likely faced with a sea of umbrellas and plastic ponchos………..
Traditional Wimbledon fayre is strawberries and cream, but I put together a cooling, refreshing gazpacho of Melon, yellow pepper and cucumber, to serve as an entree, while I was cheering Murray on…..
I make gazpacho a lot during the summer and as my fruit salad (to follow) it is different every time, depending on what I have to hand. This version is a particular favourite of mine and I have spiced it up a little with some fresh ginger and given another little twist by adding a pastille of frozen coconut milk in place of an ice cube to give it some extra chill and a little ‘je ne sais quoi’!
As well as serving it for an entrée, I also serve gazpacho in small ‘verrines’ as part of the apero.
I shall post a more traditional recipe at a later date, but as melons are just beginning to appear, and it is still a little bit early for the tomatoes – this is following the true spirit of ‘A Taste of Two Cities’ and eating seasonally.
Serves two as an entrée or four as an apero
¼ of a melon, chopped
¼ of a large cucumber, chopped
1 medium yellow pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil (I use ‘Olivier & C0.’ Olive oil with mint
1 tablespoon of Chardonnay vinegar (I use Maille vinaigre de Chardonnay, but if you cannot find this, then use a good quality white wine vinegar)
A little finely chopped fresh ginger
Freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
Blend the melon, pepper cucumber and ginger in a food processor
Add the oil and vinegar
Taste and season as required
Pour into individual serving dishes and add an ice cube if for an entrée
Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours