What do you do when your garden has blessed you with pounds and pounds…and pounds of tomatoes, more than you can possibly eat? Gazpacho is one answer. Or you can share. But let’s start with gazpacho so you don’t have to. Well, not yet anyway. Not until garden production gets so out of control you dream you are a tomato and you’re going bad.
There are as many ways to make gazpacho as there are varieties of tomatoes. My Garden Fresh Gazpacho recipe calls for fresh, in season tomatoes. I don’t like commercial tomato juice and I find it an unnecessary addition under ideal tomato circumstances. Can’t grow ‘em? Can you make it to a farmers’ market? During the summer I hope you are surrounded by tomatoes.
My gazpacho is on the mild side. I prefer a balance of spice and flavor and avoid palette-crushing volumes of peppers, onions and garlic. I want to taste my damn tomatoes. If you prefer things a little closer to hellfire, then by all means, increase your favorite ingredients. Be sure to have a tall, icy, alcoholic beverage on hand to quench your hot self.
I peel and seed my tomatoes. This is the most labor-intensive part of gazpacho preparation. It sounds psychotically difficult, but it isn’t. Wear an apron.
My Garden Fresh Gazpacho recipe yields 4 servings. It’s a great starter or side dish to your grilled shrimp or fish. Serve it topped with fresh cilantro, avocado, and a turn of the sea salt grinder. If you’re serving this to others (you know, sharing) set out the hot sauce and your lucky guests can customize their experience. Some like it hot.
Garden Fresh Gazpacho
- Yield: 4 Servings
This refreshing soup is lovely on a hot summer day. Use the freshest tomatoes you can grow or find. And wear an apron to protect your pretty dress. This can get messy!
- 2 pounds fresh, ripe, garden tomatoes peeled, seeded, and chopped with juices reserved
- 1 1/2 cup English cucumber diced
- 1/2 cup red pepper seeded, ribs removed, diced
- 2 stalks celery diced (tender stalks from the heart are best)
- 1/4 cup red onion diced small
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin For a more robust flavor, toast and grind whole coriander seeds. Start with close to 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, toast in a pan on the stovetop, then grind using a mortar and pestle to make ½ tsp.
- 1 lime juiced
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp course salt
- a few grinds fresh pepper
- 1 clove garlic minced
- avocado for garnish
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- sea salt to taste
- hot sauce (optional)
- Select the freshest garden tomatoes. Admire them.
- Peel and seed them as described in my "Peeling & seeding tomatoes" post.
- Hopefully during the seeding process you've captured a lot of fresh juice. This is how much was produced by a little over 2 pounds of tomatoes from my garden. I don't see any need to add commercial tomato juice. Keepin' it pure.
- Moving on to the other vegetables...I peel only part of my English cucumber so I have a combo of peeled and unpeeled cubes. If you're using regular cucumbers you'll probably want to peel ALL of the waxy green peel away.
- Dice your red pepper and celery. Small dice your red onion.
- Throw in your cumin, lime juice, EVOO, balsamic vinegar (this gives it a hint of sweetness), salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Place the minced garlic directly into the blender. Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of soup to the blender and puree with the garlic. Add it back to the soup and stir. The texture should still be chunky, but more soupy than the above pic.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. You want the soup to be quite chilly. Serve garnished with cilantro, avocado and sea salt. Set out the hot sauce.
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