Chilled gazpacho with puff pastry crackers with Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele – perfect as a light summer lunch.
I love, love, love cooking. I spend probably 80% of my time in the kitchen every single day and I never get tired of it. But there are certain times when being in the kitchen feels like torture… when the temperature outside rises above normal levels and the sun shines relentlessly. Whenever it gets too hot to cook I am perfectly content having crackers and cheese for dinner, especially if those crackers are topped with shaved Grana Padano and slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele.
But how would you feel if I told you I also served SOUP during our heatwave? Not just any soup of course, this was chilled gazpacho soup made with tomatoes, avocado, cucumber and watermelon or summer in a bowl! Traditional gazpacho usually contains bread but I left it out for a lighter and gluten-free version of this Spanish soup. You can serve it in chilled shot glasses as an appetizer or in small bowls as a light lunch option.
As for the super-easy puff pastry crackers, these are a must for any party. Made simply from puff pastry that’s baked between two heavy baking sheets and then liberally sprinkled with finely grated Grana Padano cheese and dried herbs, they are the perfect for loading up with slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele and more cheese! If you make a big batch and have leftover crackers you can reheat them in the oven for a couple of minutes before serving – not that leftovers are very likely.
The gazpacho can be prepared up to six hours in advance of serving to give it time to be properly chilled. But you could also serve it straight away with a couple of ice cubes to chill it down. The watermelon adds a nice touch of sweetness but you can replace with extra tomatoes if you prefer. Try to use the best and ripest tomatoes you can find as that’s where most of the flavour is coming from.
- For the puff pastry crackers
- 1 sheet puff pastry (use gluten free if preferred)
- finely grated Grana Padano cheese to sprinkle
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- dried oregano or thyme to sprinkle
- sea salt to sprinkle (optional)
- shavings of Grana Padano cheese to serve
- slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele to serve
- For the gazpacho
- 450g | 1 pound ripe tomatoes
- I used a mix of red and green
- flesh of 1-2 ripe small avocados
- 150g | 5½ oz | about 1 cup peeled and seeded cucumber, diced
- 150g | 5½oz | about 1 cup watermelon, seeded and cubed
- 60ml | ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ red onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- extra cubed cucumber to garnish
- olive oil to drizzle
- fresh basil or dill to garnish
- pinch chilli flakes to garnish
- salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- Preheat the oven to 220C (430F).
- Take your puff pastry out of the fridge for five minutes then unroll, keeping it on the paper it came rolled in.
- Cut out rounds using a pastry cutter and peel off the extra pastry. This can be gathered in a ball, rolled out and used.
- Place on a heavy baking tray and cover with another tray – this will stop the crackers from puffing up during baking. Bake for 12 minutes.
- Take out of the oven and uncover. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle liberally with freshly grated Grana Padano cheese.
- Sprinkle with a little dried oregano and a pinch of salt and bake, uncovered, for a further 2 minutes until crisp and golden.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Depending on their size, you will get about 12 crackers per puff pastry roll. You could roll the pastry out a little thinner if you wanted a bigger yield.
- Make the gazpacho – put all the ingredients in a high power blender and process until completely smooth. Add a few tablespoons of water or some ice cubes if the soup is too thick.
- Chill for between 2-6 hours before serving.
- Pour the soup into small chilled glasses if serving as an appetizer or between two bowls if serving as lunch.
- Garnish with small cubes of cucumber, a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of chilli flakes and scattering of fresh basil or dill.
- Top the crackers with shavings of Grana Padano and slices of Prosciutto di San Daniele. Garnish with chopped basil or fresh dill and serve immediately.
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