It’s going to be hot this weekend. Looks like California tomatoes are finally getting the preferred temperatures mentioned in last weeks Food Party! Thanks everyone for a fun discussion.
End of summer means it’s Gazpacho season. There are many variations of this chilled tomato soup, and I am getting to know them all a bit better as plans for my year-end culinary tour to southern Spain begin to take shape. Like the recipe below, what we think of as “classic gazpacho” originates from the southern Andalusian region of Spain, but different towns have different takes. In coastal Malaga, garlic, bread and almonds are common additions. To the northeast, the town of Granada uses cumin as the primary seasoning. Think of gazpacho like chili, it’s really adaptable to creative personal touches. I’ve added a few of my own to bump up the mouth-wow, including the flavor combinations from last week.
1 small red onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley
¼ cup fresh basil
2 ½ pounds dry-farmed tomatoes; peeled, seeded, chopped
1 seedless or garden cucumber, peeled (I still scrape out the small seeds)
1 pasilla pepper, roasted and skinned
1 ½ cups (or 1 can) tomato juice
3-5 garlic cloves, minced into a paste (like we learned last week)
2-3 tablespoons great-quality extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tablespoons Spanish sherry vinegar
½ - 1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced
Season to taste:
Fresh squeezed lime juice
10 – 20 green olives, finely chopped
A few Calabrian peppers, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Crème Fresh (optional)
Whirl up the onion and herbs in a food processor till small and juicy, but not completely pureed. Remove to a large bowl. Add tomato to processor and blend till juicy but still with some chunk. Transfer to the bowl. Add cucumber and pepper and repeat the process. Combine this mixture with remaining ingredients and stir well, then season to your taste with lime juice – white pepper. Refrigerate till chilled. Serve with a dollop of crème fresh.