Watermelon Gazpacho


Not only is this dish the perfect refreshment on a hot summer day, but it will help you to use some of that stale bread that has been sitting in your fridge! 

Total Time: 45 Minutes
Makes: 8 servings (about 12 cups)

For the basil oil:
  • 1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves
For the gazpacho:
  • 3 cups cubed stale country bread, crust removed
  • 3 medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped watermelon (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 small Kirby cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 2 2/3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  For the garnish:
For the basil oil:
  1. Blend olive oil and basil leaves together until smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Let mixture steep for about 15 minutes before using.

For the gazpacho:
  1. Place bread in a bowl, add water to cover (about 1/2 cup), and let soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain bread and squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. Finely mince garlic, basil, cayenne, cumin, and salt to form a rough, sandy paste.
  3. Place tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, onion, soaked bread, and garlic paste in a large bowl and toss to mix. Let stand for about 15 minutes.
  4. Working in four batches, place a quarter of the vegetable mixture in a blender (or use a hand blender), add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons water, and process until smooth. Transfer the puréed soup to a large, nonreactive bowl and repeat the blending process with the remaining vegetable mixture. Whisk in vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste.

For the garnish:
  1. In a small bowl, mix cayenne pepper and salt until well combined. In a separate bowl, toss together watermelon and cucumber. To serve, top each bowl of gazpacho with 2 tablespoons of the watermelon and cucumber, sprinkle with cayenne salt, and drizzle with basil oil.

French Toast Sandwiches


A new take on everyone's favorite breakfast food!  This dish also helps you to use stale bread that isn't useful for anything else.

Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 2 sandwiches

  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau)
  • 2 teaspoons orange marmalade
  • 4 slices bread (such as sweet bâtarde, brioche, or Wonder Bread)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Maple syrup, to taste
  • Cinnamon, to taste

  1. Heat a sandwich press to 350°F or a grill pan over medium-high heat. (Prop up the slanted side of the grill to level the cooking surface.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese, orange liqueur, and orange marmalade until well incorporated. For each sandwich, spread 2 tablespoons of the mixture on a slice of bread and top with a plain slice; press firmly.
  3. Beat egg and milk together in a shallow bowl until well blended. Dip both sides of each sandwich into milk mixture briefly (and let excess drip off), then place on the press. Close the lid and cook about 3 minutes or until golden brown. (Or cook in a grill pan until golden brown, turning once, about 3 minutes per side.)
  4. Transfer French toast to plates. Top with maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon, and serve immediately.

Sour Cream Banana Bread


This banana bread recipe is one of our favorites!  It uses overly-ripe bananas in order to deliver a fantastic flavor.

Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Makes: 1 (9 inch) loaf

  • Butter, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the pan
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 overly-ripe medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter and dust it with flour, tapping out the excess. Whisk together the measured flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a large bowl to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  2. Place the sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes. Add the bananas and sour cream and mix until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  3. Turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, the top is golden brown, and the bread is pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 1 hour.
  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the perimeter of the pan, invert to release the bread, and cool completely on the wire rack before serving.