Gazpacho de Morelia
Seasonally, a different recipe will be featured. Marilyn will provide commentary on where she first encountered the recipe.
This recipe is from my new book, Cocina Mexicana: Many Cultures, One Cuisine.”
While in Spain, I was enamored by the refreshing cold tomato gazpacho of Andalucia, with its vinegar, cucumber, and green pepper overtones and other versions with no tomatoes including one with ground almonds and grapes. Then in Morelia, the capital of Michoacán, I heard of yet another gazpacho which was certainly not that usual cold soup, but instead, much more like a portable fruit salad. There is a small place near the center of the city that is a magnet for those wanting a light snack during the day, and I soon understood why. Four apron-clad men were busy slicing jícama, mangos, pineapple, and other fruits, and in a rather free-for-all line, everyone placed their order for either the usual gazpacho, or asked for additions of cucumbers or watermelon, which I loved. All is prepared to order, some asking for large rectangular chunks of fruit instead of the usual smaller pieces. The combined fruit is served in large paper cups with plastic spoons and all exited, as I did, with smiles on their faces. Other locally available fruits could be substituted, but it is essential to have a medley of color and textures.
I find this dish an ideal start for a casual brunch buffet, as everyone can mingle while eating.
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 mangos, peeled and cubed, about 1 cup
- 1/3 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed, about 1 cup
- 1 small jícama (1/4 pound), peeled and cubed, about 1 cup
- 1 small cucumber (1/4 pound), seeded and cubed, about 1 cup
- 1 slice watermelon, seeded and cubed, about 1 cup
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons crumbled queso fresco, or if not available, mild feta
- 1 teaspoon ground arból chiles or cayenne
- Bottled salsa such as Salsa Valentino (optional)
Mix the fruits and vegetables together in a bowl with the orange and lime juice and put in a tall glass container like a soda or milk shake glass. Top with the cheese and ground chile, and salsa for those who want to liven up their gazpacho even more.