What would happen if you used a Bloody Mary as the inspiration for gazpacho, a cold summer soup?
Youd get something like this fresh spring recipe blended up by Sophia Buell, chef apprentice at Johnson County Community College.
The traditional morning eye-opener of a cocktail gets a few tweaks from Buells imagination. She skips the alcohol and chooses to sweeten the gazpacho with watermelon, substituting lime for the more traditional lemon. The watermelon base gets its fire from diced jalapeño plus a dash of Tabasco sauce. Add a south-of-the-border feel from cilantro.
In place of the celery that usually garnishes the cocktail, Buell goes with pickled julienned carrots and cucumbers to add a tangy bite. (If you make the pickled vegetables ahead of time, the rest of the dish goes together in a quick 30 minutes, start to finish.)
Scallops offer a protein boost, which makes it appropriate as an appetizer ahead of a red meat dish at a special occasion meal. Or it could stand alone as a quick summer supper.
Crème fraiche adds a smooth finishing touch.
Buell suggests accompanying the dish with a white zinfandel or a spring ale such as a maibock.
Bloody Mary Watermelon Gazpacho With Seared Scallops and Pickled Vegetables
Makes 6 servings
1/4 cup julienned carrot
1/4 cup julienned cucumber
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
1/4 cup sugar
4 cups watermelon, diced
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup ripe diced tomato
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeño
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
12 diver scallops, or any large sea scallops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Crème fraiche for garnish
For vegetables: Place carrot and cucumber in a 1-quart nonreactive mixing bowl. Cover vegetables with water, vinegar, lime juice, salt, pickling spice and sugar. Marinate, covered, in refrigerator for 2 hours.
For soup: Combine all ingredients except salt and pepper in bar blender container; blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill while preparing scallops.
For scallops: Pat scallops dry; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add scallops, sear on both sides until no longer translucent and cooked through.
To serve, pour off marinade from pickled vegetables. Pour a scant 1 cup of soup in chilled bowl. Add two seared scallops, top with drained pickled vegetables and garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche.
Per serving: 281 calories (46 percent from fat), 15 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 25 milligrams cholesterol, 25 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein, 365 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.
Recipe and food styling by Sophia Buell, 23, a fourth-semester student in the Johnson County Community College Hospitality Management program. She is an apprentice at Indian Hills Country Club.