Presqu’ile Vineyard & Winery in Santa Maria has a stellar food and wine program. This modern winery specializes in cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah from Santa Barbara County. The property on Clark Avenue contains estate vineyards, gardens, winery buildings and spaces, a pond, and a 1-acre farm. And the farm is the epicenter of the food at Presqu’ile, helmed by Chef Julie Simon.
She creates a gorgeous and beautiful Mezze Picnic full of delectable dishes to pair with the wine—read all about it here. Her summer gazpacho is savory, light and foamy, with the perfect balance of tomato and basil flavors. Simon likes to use overripe and/or bruised tomatoes; this dish is the best use of all that non-perfect produce.
Summer Tomato Gazpacho with Watermelon
- 2 pounds Tomatoes
- 2 Shallots or white onion
- 1 head Garlic
- 1 pound Watermelon or stone fruit
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 cup Olive oil extra virgin
- 2 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Lemon zest
- Pepper to taste
- Basil torn, for garnish
- Edible flowers for garnish
- Cut the tomatoes, shallots/onions and garlic in half, and mix with salt, olive oil, sherry vinegar, and lemon zest.
- Let this sit and macerate 1-4 hours on your countertop.
- Blend the whole mixture in a high-speed blender, slowly adding fresh olive oil for a few minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with basil and edible flowers.