Friday, August 9, 2013

Chilled Gazpacho



Property of The Entertaining House/Jessica Gordon Ryan

It's tomato season in my part of the world - and vines are bursting with all sorts of these fresh and vibrant fruits in almost as many colors as are found in the rainbow. I can't seem to get enough tomatoes these days. I love them in salads and sandwiches, on a fresh baguette and drizzled with olive oil, and even on their own with a good sprinkling of sea salt! In a matter of days my tomato supply has dried up and tomorrow I am off to my local farms to stock up on all the amazing produce that's out there now. When I get tire of eating them alone I whip up a batch of gazpacho. This Andalusian dish is one of my all-time summer favorites and, at any given day, there's always a container of it in my fridge. I've made yellow varieties and green varieties and they are all simply fabulous. What I love most about this cold treat is that it's totally bathing-suit friendly! You can snack on it any time of the day or turn it into a lunch or dinnertime meal with a crusty loaf of bread and a nice thick wedge of Manchego cheese. 

There are so many versions out there and almost all of them are fabulous. This recipe was my grandmother's and is the one I use all of the time. Sometimes I play around with the ingredients based on what I have in my fridge. This recipe can be followed or altered to your preferred tastes.

Ingredients: 

2 Seedless cucumbers, peeled, cut into large chunks
1 red bell pepper, cut into large chunks
1 orange or yellow pepper, cut into chunks
3 medium to large fresh tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 – 1 ½ cup of V-8 juice (Be daring and use Mr. T’s or Stirring’s Bloody Mary Mix for an extra kick!)
¼ cup of red wine vinegar
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional - I love cilantro and sometimes I toss a handful into the blender and a few leaves on top

Place your ingredients, chopped, into the blender or food processor and pulse to the desired consistency. Taste as you go to adjust the seasonings and chill for at least one hour before serving. This is even better the next day... and the day after that, if there's any left!

I had my hand at drawing this morning. It's been decades but I was inspired by the tomatoes that and the soup I've been devouring lately. I need to learn how to use my scanner... this iPhone upload didn't quite cut it!

XOXO,

Jessica


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