Yes, I know I just posted a gazpacho a little over a week ago, but this one had to be shared ASAP – I didn’t want you to miss out on those marvelous, in season, local strawberries!
Or, if you want to, you can blame my seemingly duplicate post on all that Nyquil I’ve been taking for a week since I caught a doozy of a cold that has now turned into a sinus infection. Lucky me. Wait. Actually! That’s another reason to love this gazpacho! It is chock-full of that good ole immune system enhancer, vitamin C. Go C!
Okay, so you already know I love gazpacho. I make a version of it a much as possible during summer months when the produce it is at its peak. It is one of our summer staples for its ease to make (without the stove) and fresh, healthy flavors. And, this Strawberry-Tomato Gazpacho, while a new recipe for us, has jumped to the top of our list of favorite gazpachoes. Why? Strawberries. It’s all about the strawberries and how they come together with the tomatoes and cucumbers to give us a welcome (on this 97 degree F day in southern Wisconsin), delightful and chilled summer soup.
Before I get into the specifics of the Strawberry-Tomato Gazpacho, I want to show some heartfelt love for the cookbook that gave us this recipe, Harvest to Heat, by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer. I bought this cookbook several months ago and have literally fallen in love with it. It highlights farm to table recipes by chefs from the country’s best restaurants and the farmers and artisans that grow and make the ingredients for them. The gorgeous pages are full of amazing, fresh recipes, yes, but also stories from every cook, chef, artisan and farmer that contributed to the recipe. The authors visited each one of them and put together a cookbook that feels like a love story for the best, freshest ingredients. I love that. There’s a sneak peek of the book at Amazon’s listing for Harvest to Heat where you can see a sampling of recipes, and view the list of all the recipes in the table of contents. If fresh food is what you love, you’ll find so many good ideas in this cookbook. (I can’t wait to try the Crème Fraîche Galette with Heirloom Tomatoes this week too!) There are just a handful of recipes that had ingredients I didn’t recognize or couldn’t find. Most of the time they give you a substitute ingredient right in the recipe. Once or twice they don’t, but I just look at that as a chance to google it and learn something new.
This particular recipe has the simplest ingredients: strawberries, tomatoes, a red bell pepper, cucumbers, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Kosher salt and a day-old slice of bread (for the croutons). It will take a little time to hull the strawberries and chop everything, but once that’s done…
…it all goes into the food processor to be puréed until it’s nice and smooth. Then, to get rid of the strawberry seeds, the mixture gets strained through a mesh sieve into a large bowl. Except the croutons! (The process for making the croutons is with the recipe below) At this point I seasoned my gazpacho with a little bit of Kosher salt and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour or so.
That. Is. It! Just ladle your beautiful creation into a bowl and garnish with the croutons, diced cucumbers and diced strawberries. This simple process to a fantastic gazpacho like this one was much appreciated on a hot day like this (and on a day where I didn’t feel so hot myself).
NOTES: Because I knew it was going to be blazing hot today, I made the croutons last night (rather than heat up the stove (and my kitchen) today). This recipe serves 4, or one sick girl for a day. Cost: $7.08 or $1.77/serving (I already had the vinegar, oil, bread and salt and just had to buy the produce).
Strawberry-Tomato Gazpacho Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten in the cookbook, Harvest to Heat by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer
- 2 1/2 pints fresh strawberries
- 1/2 pound red cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided: 2 tablespoons, 1 tablespoon
- Kosher Salt
- 1 slice day old bread, cut into 1/4 inch dice
- 1 small cucumber, cut into 1/4 inch dice, for garnish
Hull the strawberries. Set aside a half pint of strawberries and cut the remaining 2 pints in half. Put the halved strawberries in a food processor and purée until smooth.
Add the tomatoes, bell pepper, chopped cucumbers, balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the the food processor with the puréed strawberries. Purée until smooth then strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Season with Kosher salt and set aside.
To make the croutons:
In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the 1/4 inch bread cubes and toss them in the oil for 3-5 minutes or until they’re lightly browned. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to cool completely.
For Garnish & Serving:
Cut the remaining 1/2 pint of strawberries into a 1/4 inch dice. Ladle the gazpacho into serving bowls and garnish each with a spoonful of the diced strawberries, diced cucumbers and a few croutons.