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Watermelon Hibiscus Orange Gazpacho

Happy New Year! One of the most common New Years resolutions is to eat healthier and this is a great recipe to begin with. Watermelon is available year round, it helps you to hydrate, is high in Vitamin C, may improve heart health, is high in lycopene, an anti-cancer compound and is low in calories. It’s not just a summertime treat! Hibiscus tea is packed with anti-oxidants and has many health benefits, including reducing high cholesterol. Barberries are small dried sweet and sour berries popular in Iranian cooking.

Watermelon Hibiscus Orange Gazpacho

Make the bulgur – Combine the bulgur with 1½ cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Makes 2 cups. You will need only 1 cup. Use the extra for tabbouleh.

Make the hibiscus tea – Bring water to a boil, turn off heat and  add the hibiscus flowers. Cover and steep for 14 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Segment the oranges – Using a sharp knife, slice off both ends of each orange. Following the curve of the fruit, cut away the peel and white pith. Holding the orange over a small bowl, slice along the inside of the membranes to release the segments. Place the segments in the bowl along with the juices.

Make the gazpacho – Add the watermelon, hibiscus tea, oranges, cucumber, garlic, scallion, apple cider vinegar and salt to a high speed blender. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary. Stir in the cooked bulgur and chopped watermelon. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Pour into clear glasses or bowls and garnish as desired.

serves 6

BULGUR

  • ½ cup fine bulgur

HIBISCUS TEA

  • 2 tbsp hibiscus flowers plus 2 cups filtered water

GAZPACHO

  • 4 cups chopped seedless watermelon
  • ½ cup hibiscus tea (see above)
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1 Persian cucumber, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 scallion, washed and chopped
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup cooked bulgur
  • 1 cup finely diced watermelon

GARNISH

  • 1 Persian cucumber, diced
  • 2 tbsp barberries, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
  • 2 tbsp mint, finely chopped