Gazpacho = summer. Well, it does for me I love the stuff and every summer I look forward to using the seasonal veggies to try new recipes for them. I know I’m pushing the tomato season, at least here in Wisconsin, but I had to try a new gazpacho today. It was a craving that had to be honored. Hands down, THIS gazpacho recipe is my favorite one to date.
It was so nice smell the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers as I made this today. I can remember my grandmother canning both when I spent summers with her on the farm. I think of her standing over them in the farm house kitchen, chatting away with me, every time I smell them. I think that’s one of the reasons I love summer food so much, it brings back happy memories of Grandma.
In this recipe, the tomatoes and cucumber, combined with the balsamic vinegar, make a genuinely fresh mouthful of summer flavor. Add that dash of hot sauce and now we’re talking Sarah’s favorite kind of flavor. It doesn’t hurt that you don’t have to turn the oven on for this either, right? I love that part!
Do you like gazpacho? If you do, I’d love to hear what you think about this one. I, for one, am very glad it made such a big batch. Here’s how I did it…
First things first:
Thoroughly rinse the cat hair off your cucumber and red onion after your sous chef has inspected them. Thank him for his assistance, and send him off to play with his 110 pound Labrador Retriever brother.
Add a few tomatoes to your blender, and blend until smooth. Continue adding the tomatoes, a few at a time, until the blender is about 3/4 full. At this point, pour half the soup into a large bowl. Continue adding and blending the tomatoes like this until they’re all incorporated.
Season with a little more salt, vinegar and/or hot sauce to taste and serve with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. That’s all there is to it, except to take it outside on your deck or patio and enjoy it in the summer breezes.
NOTES: This recipe took about 20 minutes of hands on time. It made 7 cups of gazpacho. That’s lot for a two-person household like this, but rest assured none of it will go to waste. Since I already had the olive oil, vinegar and hot sauce, this gazpacho cost us $4.21 ($3.00 for the tomatoes), which comes out to about 61 cents a serving if you use 1 cup servings. (I can’t eat 1 cup servings, it’s more like a 1/2 cup serving for me).
My Favorite Gazpacho Recipe
Adapted from a recipe in Bi*Rite Market’s Eat Good Food cookbook.
If you don’t have this cookbook yet, and you’re interested in seasonal, sustainable eating, this book is a must have. We’ve had it since last fall and it is one of our favorites, we cook from it all the time. Eat Good Food is filled with all kinds of information, ideas and recipes. I especially love that the recipes are sorted by season. It’s fantastic!
- 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (or sherry vinegar), plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, like Tabasco
- 1/2 medium red onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1/2 medium cucumber, trimmed and cut into large pieces
- Leaves from 6 large sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
- 12 large fresh basil leaves
- 1 large clove garlic
- Kosher salt
- 3 medium Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into large pieces
- 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into large pieces
Add the oil, vinegar and hot sauce to the blender and briefly blend. Add the onion, cucumber, parsley, basil, garlic and 1 tablespoon salt and blend until smooth. Add the tomatoes, a few at a time, blending as you go. When the blender is about three-fourths full, pour half of the liquid into a large bowl. Continue blending and adding tomatoes like this, a few at a time, until all the tomatoes are incorporated and everything is blended smooth. Pour the soup into the large bowl.
If you’d like a smoother texture, strain the soup with a fine-mesh sieve.
Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Whisk to blend, then taste and season with salt, vinegar or hot sauce as needed. Garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.