The first time I had pineapple gazpacho was in St. Lucia in the Caribbean. We stayed at Sugar Beach resort, which was beautiful. One day my husband and I signed up for a farm-to-table adventure, which ended with a five-course meal provided by the hotel’s chef.
The whole meal was stunning, but the gazpacho was especially memorable. Maybe because we participated in picking the pineapple in the field.
Or maybe because I got to play chef in the “cold” room of the hotel’s kitchen where prep work is done. I actually put the gazpacho together without knowing any ratios. But I must have done well because the chef approved.
After I placed all of the ingredients in a large bowl, the Chef put everything in a vitamix, and puréed it. Using a very large chinois, the soup was then strained.
At that point we left the prep kitchen and moved into the main kitchen where the chef prepared some sashimi for us, as we watched him cut up the kingfish, which was to be our main.
Eventually we were seated on the outside deck with a view of the ocean, crisp white wine in hand. Then here came the pineapple gazpacho. Isn’t it beautiful!
It was topped with chopped baby shrimp, cucumber, tomato and a few cilantro leaves, then drizzled with a little oil. So today I’m going to duplicate this gazpacho, if I can, although the tropical ambiance won’t be the same.
3 slices white bread with the crusts
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 medium-sized pineapple, peeled
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded
1/3 cup crème fraiche
Small bunch of cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon salt
Soak the bread in the cream in a bowl.
Chop up the pineapple and place in a heavy-duty blender. Add the cucumber, crème fraiche, cilantro, and all of the remaining ingredients. Add the cream-soaked bread and blend until very smooth. Let sit for a few hours or overnight for the flavors to mingle.
Pour the mixture into a sieve like a chinois and strain well.
Taste for seasoning. It should taste like a fabulous blend of pineapple and cucumber, with a little zing from the hot sauce. It shouldn’t be salty or sweet.
The gazpacho is thin, but not watery. It’s very satisfying, and perfect for lunch, or like in St. Lucia, a first course for dinner.