Watermelon gazpacho with tapenade, thyme and goat’s cheese toasts

In the heat of the summer, for me, no-cook cooking takes precedence over any other type of cooking. Using the best and ripest tomatoes is essential when making this refreshing summer starter, and there’s certainly no shortage of those in the height of summer down south. Make this the day ahead for the flavours to fully infuse and then make the garnish at the last minute to serve. If you don’t have the luxury of time on your side, start with all your ingredients extra cold and chill for as long as you can before serving.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 160g watermelon, cubed
  • 200g ripe tomatoes (small sweet ones work well)
  • 100g cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp (or more to taste) sherry vinegar

For the toasts:

  • 10 thin slices of baguette
  • 2 tbsp tapenade
  • 4 tbsp soft fresh goat’s cheese
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

To garnish:

  • 3-4 sprigs thyme
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Finely diced cucumber
  • Finely diced tomatoes
  • A little more extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle


Put the the watermelon, tomatoes and cucumber in a blender. Add the garlic, generous amount salt, olive oil and sherry vinegar. Blend until smooth. Season to taste and add a splash more sherry vinegar to taste.

Divide the gazpacho between 2 bowls. Add a couple of ice cubes if you want it extra cold. Put the diced tomatoes, cucumber and olives on top of each bowl and garnish with a few extra thyme flowers. Season with black pepper and a swirl of olive oil.

Toast the thin rounds of baguette until lightly golden. Spread a thin layer of the tapenade, goat’s cheese and sprinkle with a little of the thyme.

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