Melon Gazpacho

Melon Gazpacho
  1. 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  2. 4 whole cloves
  3. 2 whole star anise
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 1/3 cup sugar
  6. ½ t. kosher salt
  7. 1 plum tomato, peeled, halved, seeds removed
  8. 3 cups 1” pieces chilled melon (about 1 pound)
  9. 2 cups 1” pieces chilled peeled cucumber
  10. ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  11. 1 red Thai chile or Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  12. kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  13. mint for garnish
  1. Bring basil leaves, cloves, star anise, bay leaf, sugar, salt and 1 ½ cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes; strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a medium size bowl. Set aside and cool completely.
  2. Puree basil syrup, tomato, melon, cucumber, lime juice, and chile in a blender until very smooth. Taste and adjust, re-seasoning as necessary.
  3. Divide gazpacho among bowls. Garnish with mint if desired.
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