I recently spent some vacation time on the waters of Hood Canal in Washington State. Hood Canal is a long, narrow fjord with a crook shaped end called The Great Bend. That’s where I was. In the land of oysters.
When I was small I spent a lot of time in the waters of the nearby Puget Sound where I grew up. Hours passed quickly in the salt water swimming with my sister. We should have gills. There was so much to do! We were slaves to a minus tide, which offered a sandbar for barefoot play. The giant rock adjacent to our bulkhead was treated as base camp for landing and leaping. And of course there was the time honored tradition of carefully adorning ourselves with seaweed to create monstrous medusa costumes that could be worn on the beaches and swing sets of Lowman Park. Continue reading Oysters, guilt-free food→
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.