Thursday, August 20, 2015

Essential Tomato Recipe: Gazpacho

I share contributor Jim Dixon's recipes here for a couple of reasons, one being he's a really fine writer, but the other is that his (literally) down-to-earth approach to cooking with the best of the season's bounty is simple, unfussy and always delicious. This week, one of my all-time tomato season faves, gazpacho.

Gazpacho Sevillano

Julia Moskin's article about the gazpacho of Seville appeared in the New York Times on July 28 when the temperature here in Portland was bumping up to triple digits. I probably wasn't the only one who connected a tall glass of cold tomato goodness with the overloaded plants in my backyard. I've made her Seville-style gazpacho a couple of times since, and it's not just great a good way to use up an abundant harvest; it's delicious. Drink it on its own or serve a piece of grilled fish in a pool of the creamy gazpacho.

Follow her recipe if you like, or just wing it. This much will make a full blender: 5 to 6 medium tomatoes, 1 small cucumber (peeled if one with a thick, waxy peel), 1 Anaheim or similar green pepper (not a green bell), half a medium onion, 2 cloves garlic. Cut into rough chunks, put the tomatoes in first (they'll liquify quickly and pull in the the other stuff), add a shot of good vinegar (Katz apple cider, sparkling wine, or red wine), a few pinches of sea salt, and blitz until very smooth. Then add a lot (1/2 cup at least) of extra virgin while the motor is running. Chill or serve with ice, and add a little water if it's too thick to drink easily.

Moskin calls for straining out any solids, but don't bother. You want all that fiber, and it's just another thing to clean. And while a blender works best, your food processor can do the job. But do serve it in a glass.

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