Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gazpacho


I love summer, for so many reasons.  One of the reasons I love summer is all the fresh fruit and produce that is available.  We have a small garden in our yard and it is wonderful being to walk out, grab what I need and start my cooking.  Although the convenience is great; the taste of the fresh fruit and vegetables is wonderful.  There isn't much that can top the taste of a truly vine-ripened tomato.   There is nothing that compares to the taste of fresh, garden vegetables.  I take advantage of all of the fresh vegetables during the summer; they just have so much more flavor and the food really does taste better. 

Gazpacho is the perfect dish not only to utilize all of those great, fresh vegetables but it's the perfect answer to soup in the summer.  There aren't many times, especially this summer with 110 degree  (plus) temperatures, that I just crave soup.  Even on those rare occasions that I do crave soup during the summer months, I rarely eat it because it's just so hot.  And lets face it; who wants to sit and heat a steaming bowl of hot soup when it's sweltering outside?  Not me!  Well, now I can have my soup on a hot summer day and not feel incredibly overheated or weighed down once I finish.  Gazpacho is packed full of fresh vegetables and very filling but doesn't weigh you down like most soups and stews, and it's served cold.  Yes, a soup that is served cold!

Although gazpacho is nothing new, it's newer to me.  I've heard of it several times but never really ventured out and had any.  The other day I decided to bite the bullet, make some and try it out.  Boy, can I tell you how happy I am that I ventured out and tried this?  I am so happy!  This soup is delicious; and it's perfect especially on those hot summer days when it's just too hot to even think about cooking...or even heating something up in the microwave.  This would be perfect paired with nothing more than some crusty bread; but could be paired with multiple things and served as a side.  I did just that; this accompanied grilled garlic bread and garlic, butter shrimp kabobs.  This meal was a winner; it was the perfect balance of flavor and at the end I didn't feel weighed down or miserable.  If you've never tried gazpacho you must; and if you have tried it and love it you must try this recipe.  I promise you'll fall in love with it...we did!


Gazpacho



Ingredients:

1 1/2 Pounds vine-ripened tomatoes
1 Cup tomato juice, reserved from the tomatoes
1 Cucumber peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 Chopped bell red pepper (I used green)
1/2 Cup chopped red onion
1 Small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 Medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Lime, juiced
2 Tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tsp toasted, ground cumin
1 Tsp kosher salt
1/4 Tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions:

Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.


Make an "X" with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, about 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.

Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.

Recipe Source: Alton Brown, Food Network

1 comment:

cookingwithchrissy said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has never tried gazpacho! I honestly had no idea what was even in gazpacho until I read your post. I am definetly saving this recipe and will be giving it a try soon! :)

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