OMG! You’ve got to try the gazpacho! This is the BEST gazpacho I’ve ever tasted!
These are but a few of the exclamations that I heard at a recent holiday party hosted by our friends Mike and Liz. Now I’m sitting in a small coffee shop preparing this post a tad puffed up and smiling ear to ear.
I made that gazpacho. Which apparently was full of fabulocity!
But here’s the deal, a super flavorful gazpacho is based on good technique and most importantly on the quality of ingredients. So obviously I can’t and shouldn’t take primary credit (puff and smile still goin’ strong). The true stars of this recipe go to the number one ingredient: the tomato (in season) and to Mike and Liz. They grew 9 varieties of tomatoes with their special kind of tender lovin’ care. Thank you for sharing some of the best tomatoes I’ve ever had. They rocked the gazpacho. Here’s to you! Enjoy!
4 lbs of large fresh tomatoes, stemmed & rough chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded & rough chopped
½ bunch of green onion, rinsed, patted dry & rough chopped
3-4 large cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded & rough chopped
1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded & rough chopped
Up to ¼ C of red wine vinegar
2-3 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 Tbls of extra virgin olive oil
cucumber & tomato for garnish, seeded & minced (see picture above)
In a large bowl mix all tomato, vegetables and gently toss. Divide mixture up into 3 equal parts. Take 1 part place in blender and puree until smooth. By its nature it won’t be completely smooth. Pour mixture into another bowl. Repeat with remaining 2 parts. Once you have all the mixture in the bowl add salt and pepper. Mix in thoroughly. Add ½ of the vinegar stir thoroughly. Taste for seasoning. Add more vinegar if necessary. Add olive oil if you like. This will add a bit of richness and a more round mouth feel. Chill for as little as one hour or up to eight hours. When ready to serve pour into individual bowls and garnish with minced cucumber and/or tomato.
Yields: 6-9 servings.
Tips & Tidbits
*Add salt, pepper, vinegar & olive oil to your own taste preference.
*To check heat level of a pepper slice in half, seed, take pepper and touch the inside part of the pepper to your lip; very gently. You will immediately feel the intensity of heat - if its there. Be careful doing this because you can burn yourself if the pepper is super strong.
*Gazpacho is a traditional summer “salad/soup” of Spanish origin.
*The tomato is a fruit.
*A tomato is also known as the “fruit of love”.
p.s. I used at least 5 of the 9 varieties that Mike and Liz grow for the party. That’s certainly extravegant. Just remember each gazpacho is going to have a different flavor profile dependent on the variety of tomato you use. Experiment and have fun!