Monday, July 25, 2016

Summertime Means Gazpacho!

Gazpacho, chilled and full of vegetables!
I am a lucky woman. I have a neighbor who gives me fresh vegetables from his garden. It seems like everything comes at once, especially tomatoes. I was the recipient of a huge bag full of tomatoes and green peppers just yesterday. I ate a big plate of sliced tomatoes with my dinner last night and today I made gazpacho. I've made gazpacho for years, it's super healthy and low calorie as well as very tasty.  I make mine like a salad -- lots of chopped veggies, a little vinegar and oil, and some salt and pepper. Try it topped with cold, cooked shrimp or sliced avocado. I like a few sliced green olives on mine, but you eat it the way you want to. Some folks like crispy croutons on top. For dinner tonite I made a little "gremolata" of diced olives, celery, green pepper and a few cherry tomatoes, and that's what's in the picture above.

As hot as it here in central VA it's great to make something that doesn't involve turning on the stove OR oven! Cold soup on a hot humid summer evening? Yes, please!

Gazpacho Vegetable Mix
Makes about 6 cups

2 - 2 1/2 lb. vine ripe tomatoes, peeled
1 medium cucumber, peeled with seeds removed
1 small yellow onion, quartered
1/2 medium green pepper, cut into chunks**
2 cloves garlic, about 1 heaping tsp.
1 rib celery, sliced
1 small carrot or 3 baby carrots, scrubbed and sliced
1 1/2 cups V8 or tomato juice (I prefer V8)
1 T. olive oil
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. salt
a pinch of black pepper

Peel the tomatoes by cutting an X in the bottom and dropping them in boiling water for 10 seconds. Remove to your cutting board and let cool a minute or 2. The skin will slide off easily. Core them to remove any tough parts.
Peel the cucumber and halve it lengthwise. Score the middle with a paring knife and push the seeds out with a spoon or your finger. Chop it roughly to fit into your food processor or blender.
Put all the veggies into your chopper bowl or half into your blender. Blend until the mixture starts to get smooth but still has some texture. Remove to a large bowl and add tomato juice or V8, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. Whisk to combine. Chill at least 2 hours.

Serve cold, topped with anything you like or just plain. Keeps for about 4 days in the refrigerator.

**Cooks note: If you want your gazpacho to be spicy, add a small to medium jalapeno pepper to your vegetable mixture. If you remove the seeds and membranes, it will tone it down a little. Leave them in for more heat.

1 comment:

Christina said...

This is great timing I love gazpacho but have never made it. Thanks for the recipe