The Return of the Sharlyn Melon Gazpacho!

Last year during the end of summer melon season, I was craving putting a melon gazpacho together and honestly, this season wasn't any different. I get these cravings, see, to use all the different heirloom and unconventional varieties of melon that just start to pop up in all the markets.

From that craving, we resurrected the sharlyn melon gazpacho at Bennett's last week, so I thought I'd re-post the recipe too!

Did you try this recipe last summer or plan to try it during this one? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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Let me tell you: it is SO FANTASTIC to be back in Seattle and in the Bennett’s kitchen cooking again. Don’t get me wrong. I had an absolute blast in New York the last couple of months, opening the new Beecher’s Handmade Cheese in Manhattan. Now, I've made it back to the Northwest for one of my favorite times of year.

The end of summer is when nature shows us how much more it has to offer than what is available from industrial agriculture. Heirloom varieties abound in August,
and although most people only think of heirloom tomatoes, I get really excited about unconventional types of melon! And not what I call the Bud-Miller-Coors of the melon world: cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon. Those are great and they certainly have their place. But when you look at other melons like hami or guia, you’re really starting to get into the good stuff! On that note, this week’s recipe is a summery gazpacho made from sharlyn melon instead of tomato. It’s got a crisp flavor with a little bit of heat that adds a complexity you don’t always get with gazpacho.



Sharlyn Melon Gazpacho with Grilled Spicy Prawns
Serves 6

Paprika Chile Oil
1 cup olive oil
1 jalapeño, peeled, seeded, chopped
3 Tbsp paprika
½ tsp red chile flakes
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Old Bay


Gazpacho
1 1/2 cup poblano or pascilla peppers
1 sharlyn melon, peeled, large chop
2 ears of corn, shucked, stripped
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp honey
1 tsp lime juice
2 Fresno peppers, seeded, small dice
1 1/2 cup  jicama, peeled, small dice
1/2 mint leaf



Prawns
2 1/2 pounds or 30 prawns, cleaned, peeled

For the paprika chile oil, combine all of the ingredients, except the salt and Old Bay, together in a sauce pan and bring the mixture to 170°F for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and let sit for an hour before straining it through a coffee filter. Discard the solids and reserve the sauce. (This is our original recipe for the Paprika Chile Oil, but for the purposes of this dish, stir in the salt and the Old Bay.)

Char the poblanos over flame until soft, then remove from the heat and sweat in a covered container for 30 minutes.

While the poblanos are sweating, pulse the melons in a food processor to break them up. Blend the melon until it is mostly smooth, but still has some melon chunks. Do not overblend. Set aside.
Skin the poblanos most of the way, leaving a little of the charred skin. Cut open the poblanos and seed them. Combine the poblanos with the melon in the food processor and blend together. Mix in half of the corn, the salt, honey and lime juice and blend again.

In a small bowl, toss together the remaining corn, Fresno peppers, jicama and mint.
Toss the prawns with approximately quarter cup of the augmented paprika chile oil (depending on the size of your prawns) so they are wet but not dripping. Grill over medium heat for about four minutes a side, enough to cook through and get a little char.

To serve, place the jicama mixture in the center of a large serving bowl and pour the gazpacho around it. Place the shrimp on top of the jicama mixture in the center of the bowl. Serve chilled.

You’ll end up with more of the paprika chile oil than you’ll need for this recipe, but it’s a great flavoring oil to have around! We use it at Bennett’s on our Mushroom Tart and with our Curry Mussels (when we serve them). If you come up with some other great uses for it, let us know in the comments!


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