Tuesday, June 19, 2007

summer gazpacho


This soup really appeals to all 5 senses, so it's crucial to use the freshest ingredients possible since nothing is actually cooked in this dish. Try using a top grade sherry vinegar, as the acid really needs to shine through. (I use Solera 77, $4.99/bottle at Whole Foods)

What to serve with gazpacho? Try a grilled cheese sandwich of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, fresh basil, and pesto mayo on a baguette.

Gazpacho

6 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 sweet onion (Vidalia, Maui, or Walla Walla), peeled and minced
1 avocado, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups tomato juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Sriracha)
extra-virgin olive oil for serving

1. Combine the tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, onion, garlic, salt, vinegar, sugar and pepper in a large bowl. Let the vegetables marinate about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato juice, hot pepper sauce and avocado. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

2. Serve cold, drizzling each portion with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil and topping with toasted croutons or tortilla chips.