Each summer, I eagerly await two essential things – the unbridled heat and the farmers’ markets. What does this mean? It’s finally Gazpacho season. No need to turn on the stove or the oven to cook, and you get a healthy, delicious and refreshing meal with enough antioxidants to fight off cancer, or at the very least cure a mean hangover.
Having lived in Spain as a child, though, I’m a purist when it comes to gazpacho. So much so that I refuse to even order it in any restaurant for fear they’ll serve me a bowl of Mexican salsa and then look at me aghast when I turn purple and ask them to please remove it from my sight immediately. No, I don’t like corn in my gazpacho. And no, it should NOT be red! It should be pink; pink, I say!
Here is what you do…
Go to the Farmers’ Market closest to you, because there you’ll find the freshest vegetables with which to work. Buy tomatoes (nice and ripe!), green peppers, cucumbers, onions, garlic – all those beautiful things you want sitting on your counter as you pull out your Kenmore blender. Mhm and mmm!
The rule of thumb is 3 parts tomato to 1 part of anything else. So, depending on how much you want to make – and I recommend making A LOT (freeze some, put the rest in the fridge) – modify accordingly. You don’t have to be too terribly precise if you use the right ingredients.
2 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 small onion or half an onion
1 clove of garlic
1 slice of bread, with crust removed
3 tbsp olive oil
3-6 tbsp red/white wine or sherry vinegar (to taste, really)
Peel and quarter the cucumber, remove the green pepper innards and cut into several pieces, peel and quarter the onion, peel the garlic clove and slice in two, soak the bread in a few tablespoons of water, and toss it all into your Kenmore blender! Add the olive oil and vinegar, and season to taste. If it’s too thick, you can add more olive oil or even water. It should be zesty from the vinegar, and a bit of salt will help bring out the flavors. Refrigerate for a while, until chilled, and you’re ready to go!
Easy peazy. And that’s about as good as it gets! If you like, cut up some extra tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green or red peppers into small cubes to use as a garnish – along with crutons for added texture. You can swirl a bit of olive oil or vinegar over the individual bowls for effect, or toss a green olive on top. Delish! Enjoy your summer in food bliss!