Monday, August 6, 2012

Cucumber-Cantaloupe Gazpacho and Radish with Fleur de Sel Bruschetta

When I moved here in the US a couple of years ago, I made lots of good friends. Everyone was super nice and welcomed me warmly. Among all the female friends that I made, only five were single. Then all of them got engaged within the past 11 months or so, one got married a couple of weeks ago, and two of them just got married this weekend. Are you kidding me??? I, on the other hand, am just getting more and more awesome every day!   

So… DFJ and I went to two wedding parties on Friday and Saturday. The ceremonies and celebrations were lovely and really reflected the couples’ personalities. Someday, I hope I can pull off a good one just like Hayley and Kaelee did this weekend. Ladies, my love and best wishes to you and your significant others… your amazing journey has just begun!

I forced DFJ to work out with me before getting ready for the weddings and promised him a good post-workout lunch/snack. Before leaving for the weddings on both days, DFJ and I had Cucumber-Cantaloupe Gazpacho and Radish with Fleur de Sel Bruschetta. Simple, light, and delicious!

This week’s recipe choice for the Food Matter’s Project Monday is a wild card. However, instead of choosing a recipe from the ones FMP members previously picked, I happened upon a new one that begged to be tried. Hey, the more recipes tried from the book, the better, right?  

I had a cantaloupe dying to be eaten, basil sitting in water on the kitchen counter, and cucumbers that needed to be used. Leafing through last year’s summer issue of bon apptétit earlier this week, I came upon a melon and silken tofu soup recipe. It is a great idea but not quite what I was looking for. Then, I found a gazpacho recipe in Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Project Cookbook that was just perfect!

Gazpacho is a dish that originated in Spain and is traditionally tomato-based and served cold. Two weekends ago, DFJ and I had lunch with some friends at Saffron in Walla-Walla and we ordered a bowl of apricot gazpacho. It was so dang good and made me realize that gazpacho does not always have to be tomato-based! So, I was thrilled when I found the Cucumber Cups with Melon Gazpacho recipe.

My version did not involve cucumber cups because as usual, I did not want to waste anything. Instead, I blended the cucumber with the melon and made a Cucumber-Cantaloupe Gazpacho.

This made for a great summer soup. It is light, cool, and refreshing. The sweetness of the cantaloupe is toned down by the cucumber and everything is brightened up by the fresh lemon juice. Mark Bittman uses the basil as a garnish but I added the basil in the soup which gave it a fresh, minty taste.

So simple, easy, and fast! Well, it is fast if you don’t count the refrigeration time. 

Cucumber-Cantaloupe Gazpacho (4-6 servings) 
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Cucumber Cups with Melon Gazpacho, The Food Matters Cookbook      

2 medium sized cucumbers 
1 small cantaloupe 
juice of 1 small lemon  
¼ tsp salt 
¼ tsp pepper 
½ cup fresh basil, packed tightly 

Peel cucumbers and cut lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Roughly chop. 

Cut cantaloupe in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each half into four equal parts lengthwise. Carefully separate flesh from skin with a sharp small knife. Roughly chop.

Blend cucumbers and cantaloupe in blender until soupy. Add the fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and basil. Blend until the basil is finely minced. Taste and add more salt and pepper or lemon if necessary. (I didn’t add any more to mine because I liked the way it tasted.)    

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

I have been scouring the farmers market stalls for radishes since I read A Homemade Life but without any luck, until Friday! In her book, Molly Wizenberg talks about how the French eat their radishes: on a slice of good bread with some butter and salt. It sounded simply delicious and definitely worth trying. So, it was made and I don't know if I will ever eat radishes any other way again.   

Radish and Fleur de Sel Bruschetta 
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg’s Radishes and Butter with Fleur de Sel, A Homemade Life

good baguette, ¼ inch slices 
unsalted butter, room temperature
radishes, peeled and sliced super thin 
fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the baguette into ¼ inch slices and generously spread butter on top. Place the baguettes on a baking pan. When the oven is ready, bake the baguette slices until it just starts to turn crispy, about 4 minutes. Turn off the oven and remove the baguettes. Do not remove the bread from the pan just yet.

Place radish slices on the baguette slices and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Place it back in the oven for about a minute, until the radish starts looking shiny. Pull out of the oven and serve immediately.  

This gazpacho and bruschetta is a match made in heaven!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out which recipes the other FMP members decided to make for Wild Card Monday!

P.P.S. Do you know that this is my 100th blog post? Thank you so much to every one of you who stop by and read about my cooking and life stories... you inspire me to keep doing what I'm doing! Let's keep being friends and sharing our passion for good food!   


  1. Congrats on your 100th post Margarita!!

  2. Margarita, This sounds really good. I have been making a lot of cold soups lately.

  3. Love the idea of a non-tomato based gazpacho. Looks amazing. And I feel the same way about the engagements and weddings, by the way. Especially this time of year, it seems like it's been every other day!

  4. Hi Margarita,
    Congratulations! 100th post is amazing.
    The soup looks inviting but what I really love is the radish bruschetta. Simple and yet so yum especially with the sprinkle of fleur de sel.

  5. Aww! What cute pictures!!
    I have always wanted to try gazpacho, but have never got around to it. But it's getting hotter now, so this sounds perfect.
    Also, the radish on baguettes? This sounds like a match made in heaven, I have GOT to try this!!

  6. That's insane--two wedding parties! It looks like you had a blast. Hehe, getting people to work out with you by promising them post-workout snacks is something I do all the time. I'm trying to pick up tennis so I'm forcing my younger brother to play with me by promising him cupcakes. Definitely not as healthy and a cucumber cantaloupe gazpacho, which looks really cool and refreshing by the way, but whatever...


Let me know what your thoughts are... Your comments always make my day!