Recipe: Watermelon Consommé With Black Pepper and Olive Oil Sorbet

From Executive Chef James Overbaugh and Sous Chef Brandon Weaver of The Peninsula Beverly Hills, home of The Peninsula Spa

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients for soup:

3 teaspoons fennel seed

3 teaspoons orange citrus powder

1 cup organic red watermelon meat, reserving the rind and extra melon

1 cup organic orange watermelon meat, reserving the rind and extra melon

1 cup organic yellow watermelon meat, reserving the rind and extra melon

6 tablespoons red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 teaspoons jalapeños, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons red onion, peeled and chopped

3 teaspoons shallot, peeled and chopped

1 garlic clove

1 celery stalk

4 tablespoons cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup pineapple

3 teaspoons smoked paprika

3 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

Preparation:

1. Toast fennel seeds in a sauté pan with citrus powder.

2. Combine with all remaining ingredients in a high-speed blender, and pureé thoroughly.

3. Lay a piece of cheesecloth folded five times over a tall and narrow food storage container, taping the cheesecloth tightly to hold the pressure of the soup for an extended period of time. Make sure there is enough of a depression in the cheesecloth to hold the soup.

4. Slowly pour the soup into the cheesecloth, allowing it to filter through. This will strain all the impurities out of the soup, making it a mock consommé.

5. Place the container in the refrigerator, and allow the liquid to pass through the cheesecloth overnight.

Ingredients for sorbet:

1⁄2 cup white balsamic vinegar

12 cracked black peppercorns

1⁄2 cup sugar

1 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice

1⁄8 cup first-press olive oil

1⁄4 cup water

6 tablespoons cup whipped egg whites

Preparation:

6. In a saucepan, bring all ingredients except the egg whites to a boil, then simmer for five minutes and chill.

7. Place egg whites in a mixing bowl and whip to soft peaks.

8. Fold the white balsamic mixture into the egg whites and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer instructions.

9. Transfer to a storage container and freeze overnight.

Ingredients for pickling juice:

1 1⁄4 cup champagne vinegar

4 tablespoons salt

1⁄2 cup sugar

10 capsules cardamom

10 white peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

1⁄2 cup water

Preparation:

10. Peel the green off the reserved watermelon rinds and, with a melon baller, scoop only from the white. Create as many melon balls as you can. Extra is wonderful.

11. Bring all ingredients for the pickling brine to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add watermelon rind and cook for about 30 minutes until tender.

12. Remove and cool.

Ingredients for garnish:

8 orange segments

8 grapefruit segments

8 blood orange segments

8 balls red watermelon

8 balls orange watermelon

8 balls yellow watermelon

8 balls mango

1 teaspoon first-press olive oil

8 balls pickled watermelon rind

Preparation:

13. For each dish, cut segments of two oranges, two blood oranges and two grapefruit, and set aside.

14. Using a melon baller, scoop balls out of the three colors of reserved watermelon meat and set aside.

15. To finish the plate, place two of each of the citrus segments and melon balls with the pickled rind in each bowl and scoop sorbet into the centers. Gently ladle soup in and garnish with a slice of jambon serrano.