Gazpacho is traditionally made with cucumber and tomatoes. Over the last few years it has become fashionable to make gazpacho with fruits such as strawberries and watermelon. I am not too keen, but this melon gazpacho builds on a classic seventies' combination of flavours, melon and serrano ham. When I was a teenager there wasn't a Spanish wedding that did not feature this in the menu. Then came the melon with king prawns (a great recipe which I will give you later this Summer). Avocados did not manage to reach the Spain of the 70s, but prawn cocktails and pineapple with cheese on toothpicks were as popular there as in the UK.
- a canteloupe melon (or half a Spanish 'piel de sapo' melon)
- 1 cucumber
- a quarter green pepper
- a clove of garlic
- half a glass of good olive oil
- half a glass of water
- two tablespoons of vinegar
- 100 gr of good serrano ham (it would be better with Iberico ham; and, with the permission of my Italian friends, worse with parma ham) into very small cubes.
Blend the melon, cucumber, pepper, garlic and olive oil. Get this mixture through a 'chino' colander so that you get a smooth soup. Add the water vinegar and salt and stir. Taste it as, if the melon is very sweet, you may need to add a bit more vinegar. Keep it in the fridge until you are going to serve it. Serve it in bowls with the ham sprinkled in the centre of the bowl.