I'm a huge fan of gazpacho. It's fresh, healthy, fairly simple to make, and the creative possibilites are endless. Last night I made a standard spicy tomato gazpacho and garnished it with some of our friend Amelia's homemade spicy corn relish, a couple thin slices of Spanish chorizo, and a swirl of really good olive oil.
Served along with this nice cool soup: grilled local zucchini (olive oil, salt & pepper) and smoked prawns that had been marinated in lime juice and chopped jalapenos. We opened a bottle of Cass Vineyards Viognier to go with the meal, and it was a perfect summer dinner.
I'm not too good at the whole "keeping track as I experiment thing", but here's the basic recipe, sort of.
- 5 or so large (good) tomatoes. I used local Oregon Star Tomatoes because they're in season, but I also use the big heirlooms too sometimes.
- 1 jalapeno, seeded
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- one red bell pepper
- 1/2 a large shallot, diced
- half of a cucumber (if English, with peel...otherwise, peeled)
- good olive oil (1/4 to 1/2 cup or so)
- Vinagre de Jerez (Spanish sherry vinegar)
I cut the vegetables all into large chunks (tomatoes, pepper, cucumber) and tossed them into my Vitamix along with the seeded jalapeno, garlic cloves, shallot, and some olive oil. Blend together. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Lastly, I added the sherry vinegar to taste. Seems like a splash is good, but you don't want overdo it...I just add a little, then blend, then taste, repeat, until I can taste a little of that vinegar tang I'm looking for.
Garnish with whatever you feel like. Today for lunch I'm going to garnish with fresh Dungeness crab leg meat, some of Amelia's spicy corn relish, and a little slice or two of chorizo. Top with a swirl of good olive oil.
Here's today's lunch with my mom: