Seasonal Recipe and Beer Pairing: Creamy Cucumber and Dill Gazpacho with Pea Salsa and Sumac
Creamy Cucumber and Dill Gazpacho with Pea Salsa and Sumac
This is my Swedish take on a Mediterranean classic. The Greek yogurt and avocado give it a wonderfully creamy texture and trick you into thinking you’re having something really quite rich and indulgent when actually this is a fresh, light dish with a major focus on vegetables. Add the chillies according to your taste—they vary a lot, so do taste a little before deciding. I prefer a decent kick.
• 1 cucumber, roughly chopped
• 2 yellow bell peppers, roughly chopped
• 1–2 green chillies (depending on taste), finely chopped
• 1/2 garlic clove, very finely chopped
• 2 spring onions [scallions], roughly chopped
• 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
• 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cubed
• 1 cup Greek yogurt, plus extra to serve
• 1 small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
• 1 small bunch of dill, roughly chopped
• Pinch of sugar, or to taste
• Sumac, for sprinkling
For the salsa:
• 3/4 cup frozen peas
• 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
1) Blitz the cucumber, peppers, chillies, garlic, spring onions, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and all but 1 tablespoon of the cubed avocado together in a food processor. Add the yogurt and most of the herbs and continue to blend until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Add a little water if the soup seems too thick.
2) Blanch the peas in a pan of boiling water for a minute, then refresh in cold water. Drain thoroughly, then mix with the red onion, lemon juice and zest, remaining oil, and reserved avocado. Sprinkle in any leftover herbs.
3) To serve, pour into chilled bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt, the pea salsa, and a sprinkling of sumac. Serves 4.
Moonraker Brewing Company’s Citra Crush
Moonraker Brewing Company’s Citra Crush, an American pale ale, delivers a nice light-to-medium-bodied mouthful with moderate carbonation. The soft, silky texture gives it amazing smoothness that won’t compete with the freshness of the mint, dill, lemon, and cucumber in this month’s recipe. The nose (aka, smell) doesn’t yield much more than tropical citrus notes, but the taste tells a different tale. With lemon and cane sugar up front and some dry wheat on the finish, it’s a beverage best enjoyed on beautiful, warm days alongside lighter foods. Unlike some hoppier ales and IPAs, it won’t stick on your palate for long, which is exactly what the brewer intended.
—Greg Salva, 36 Handles
Sip On This
Wine Steals Under $10Founded in 1743, Hakutsuru is one of the oldest and best-selling sake (Japanese rice wine) producers. Using only high-quality natural spring water and premium rice, each creation is brewed with sophisticated skills and traditional practices. For more info, visit hakutsuru-sake.com.
Hakutsuru Draft Sake
OVERALL RATING: 3
Tasting Notes: Light, fresh, and smooth; aromas of rice and melon; slightly dry; clean and pure tasting; enjoy it chilled alongside sushi, salads, or chicken
Purchase: Total Wine & More
Hakutsuru Sayuri Nigori Sake
OVERALL RATING: 4
Tasting Notes: Course-filtered with a light, floral nose and hints of cherry blossom, white grape, and fresh banana; sweet but not cloying; lush and creamy with a smooth finish; pair with spring rolls, grilled meats, spicy fare, or dessert
Purchase: Total Wine & More
Overall Rating is the average score (out of 5) compiled by Style staff tasters. Ratings should be taken with a grain of salt, as we are by no means “experts”—just hard-working employees who enjoy imbibing.
Recipes excerpted with permission from Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously by Steffi Knowles-Dellner, published by Quadrille February 2018. Photos by Yuki Sugiura. Beer photo courtesy of Moonraker Brewing Company. Sake photos courtesy of Hakutsuru Sake of America, Inc.