This weekend I broke out the gazpacho recipe, which I hadn’t used since last summer. I know that heirloom tomatoes aren’t at their peak yet, but I might be gone before then!
My gazpacho attempt was inspired by some mediocre gazpacho I had last week. I went to a great Turkish restaurant for lunch with friends, and instead of ordering the donor kebabs or the pides, in an ill-conceived moment of trying to be healthy, I somehow opted for the gazpacho soup and a Mediterranean salad. Both were fine, but I left the restaurant thinking I could have made that myself and not spent 15 bucks! I should have ordered something that I’d rarely make like the delicious lamb kebabs my coworkers wisely ordered.
I usually follow the rule of thumb – if there are two menu items you’re debating between, pick the one you probably won’t make at home. That’s why I rarely order chicken or tilapia in restaurants.
Anyway, back to the soup. The gazpacho recipe I use came to me by way of Lynne Rossetto Kasper. If you don’t know who she is, you must tune in to NPR and listen to her radio show, The Splendid Table. She’ll make your mouth water, give you good ideas on how to use ingredients you have, or open your eyes to ingredients you never knew you needed (and probably don’t), like orange blossom water or saffron salt. I signed up for her weekly newsletter, and this recipe was sent back in September, 2008. It’s been my go-to gazpacho recipe ever since.
There are so many gazpacho recipes out there. This one is simpler than most but still tastes great. Since none of the ingredients are cooked, the key is finding quality ingredients – especially flavorful tomatoes and a good sherry vinegar. Don’t use beefsteak tomatoes for this recipe! Served with crusty bread, this was the perfect summer dinner after a hot day of running errands. Click for more for the complete recipe and more tomato pics.
According to the Eastern Market vendor who sold me the tomatoes, this variety is named “Mr. Ugly.”
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
From Latin Evolution by Jose Garces (Lake Isle Press, September 25, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Jose Garces.
Via The Splendid Table weekly email newsletter.
4 large red heirloom tomatoes
2/3 English cucumber, peeled and seeded
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp diced day-old baguette, crust removed
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
- To make gazpacho: Core tomatoes. Dip tomatoes into boiling water for about 15 seconds than shock in ice water. Peel tomatoes.
- In a blender, combine tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, vinegar, and bread. Puree until smooth. While processing, slowly add olive oil until emulsified. Season with sugar, salt and pepper. Gazpacho can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Yields 4 cups.