It’s harvesting time! My corn and peppers this year are a little sparse, but the tomatoes and zucchini are producing in abundance. I thought I’d share a few of my favorite summertime recipes that will use a lot of that fresh garden veg. Can’t let it go bad!
Today’s comes from an amazing cookbook called The Food of Spain I picked up from Borders a few years ago. It not only has great recipes, but it’s full of the history of regional Spanish cuisine and beautiful photographs. I don’t cook from it very often, but I do love sitting down and looking at the pictures from time to time.
Gazpacho is a Spanish chilled tomato soup- it’s easy to make and very refreshing. A must have on a hot summer’s day! Here’s a classic recipe with my own comments on the side.
2 slices day-old white crusty bread, broken into pieces (I used fresh wheat bread.)
2 lbs 4 oz vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled*, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small green chili, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
*(the secret to peeling tomatoes is to score the bottoms, put the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds and then immediately plunge them into cold water and the peels should come right off. Also, all of these ingredients that are going into the food processor don’t need to be chopped much.)
1 cucumber, finely diced
1/2 red pepper, finely diced
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 ripe tomato, diced
Soak the bread in cold water for 5 minutes, then squeeze out any excess liquid. Put the bread in a food processor with the tomato, pepper, garlic, chili, sugar and vinegar and process until smooth.
With the motor running, gradually add the oil to make a smooth creamy mixture. Season to taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours. Add a little of the extra vinegar, if desired.
To make the garnish, mix together the ingredients. Spoon the chilled gazpacho into soup bowls, top with a little of the garnish and serve the remaining garnish in separate bowls on the side.
I like to serve it with french bread or a baguette. Enjoy!