no planning required gazpacho
summertime, when the living is easy...
don't you love the tail end of summer? when fruit is at its sweetest and plump, ripe tomatoes are just begging to be made into something. ANYTHING.
tomato season is so short, it's like a race to make as many things from them as i can. one of these summers i'm actually going to do some planning before season's end and can them like my mother did when i was young. our garden overflowed with sweet tomatoes, and because the ladies of the midwest love to can and pickle things, we enjoyed the glorious fruit through the winter. thanks mom.
truth be told, canning is one of those things that sounds more romantic than it actually is. its messy and hot, with gallons of water boiling at your back while you prepare mountains of produce. it requires a fair amount of planning as well, what with all of the lids and jars and tools required for a successful outcome. to boot, these days it can also be quite expensive, because the cost of heirloom tomatoes ain't no joke. one would have to spend some serious coin for the whole messy affair to be worth it.
see what i mean? honeymoon over.
well, i might not be as rich or as organized as i would like, but that doesn't mean that i cant enjoy this seasons tomatoes all the same. in part iv of our vegetable series, i thought i might include this satisfying and super quick gazpacho that can be made with what you probably already have on hand. no planning required.
here's all you gotta do:
- 3 pounds tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 cherry bomb pepper (optional)
- 1/2 large jalapeno
- 1 fatty cucumber, or about 4 Persians, peeled
- 4 cloves garlic
- 12 large leaves of basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 TB sherry vinegar
- 1 tsp pimenton (smoky spanish paprika)
FIRST THINGS FIRST
1) core your toms
2) mortar the garlic cloves until you arrive at a very smooth paste, like this...
3) roast your peppers on the stove top like this...
till they're totally charred like this...
get them into a paper bag to steam. it helps the skins to release.
4) peel the peppers and discard the seeds.
5) i add the seeds of my jalapeno to the gazpacho because i want a little kick. but if you don't want yours to be that spicy, go ahead and scrape them out now.
6) working in two batches, because no one's blender is that big, get half of everything into the blender. that means:
1.5 pounds tomatoes
1/2 of a peeled cucumber
1/2 of both the roasted peppers
1/4 of a jalapeno
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/2 of the mortared garlic
1 TB + 1.5 tsp. sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp pimenton
salt to taste.
7) blend until it emulsifies. taste. adjust seasoning with salt. don't be alarmed, it will take quite a bit of salt. you will see. the right amount of salt will make this gazpacho sing.
8) now add 6 of the basil leaves to the blender. blend for a few seconds. transfer to a clean jar fitted with a lid.
9) repeat with the remaining ingredients, then refrigerate for at least an hour and a half before serving. this soup should be thoroughly chilled. oh, if it separates, no worries, just give it a good hard shake and it will re-emulsify.
et voila! no planning required gazpacho!
mangia bene, vivi felice!