Monday, August 09, 2010

Summer Gazpacho Recipe

I’ve been meaning to do a gazpacho all summer, but the weather hasn’t been cooperating in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s been too cool, and really gazpacho is best when it’s warm outside and you don’t want to turn on your oven.

But I couldn’t wait any longer for the weather to heat up because I started to see these big juicy tomatoes at my local farmers market. I love to use heirloom tomatoes because they have such interesting colors and seem more meaty. (I always think using traditional red tomatoes for gazpacho make me think I’m just drinking tomato sauce.) So I like making gazpacho in colors like green or orange, as long as the tomatoes are super ripe.

I don’t have a blender, so I had to just resort to using my hand wand blender. It did the trick, but a blender is probably easier. You might have noticed that I also added a roasted red bell pepper because I thought it’ll be nice to have the smoky flavor by roasting the pepper, but if it’s too hot where you’re at, I understand if you want to avoid any heat. So you can just dice the red bell pepper and add it in as is. The trick to the success of this recipe is adjusting the seasoning such as sugar and vinegar. Your tomatoes will play a big part to the base flavor, so if it’s not super ripe, it may be tart and you may need less vinegar and more sugar. Start with what I recommended and then taste to adjust! Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Copyright 2010 by Cooking With The Single Guy

5 to 6 ripe orange heirloom tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 lbs.)
1 red bell pepper, roasted and diced
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
2 slices day old bread
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
¼ cup water
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
1 T sugar (adjust to taste)
1 t Worcestershire sauce
1 t salt
1 t black pepper
½ t pimenton (smoked paprika)

Start by roasting your red bell pepper in the broiler until blackened. Place in an air-tight container or in a bowl with plastic seal. Wait for about 10 minutes and then take out the bell pepper and peel off the blackened skin. Remove any seeds and dice, set aside.

Soak bread slices in a shallow bowl of cold water for a few seconds and then squeeze out excess water. Break bread into smaller pieces, if needed, and then place in blender with diced cucumber, red bell pepper, water, and garlic. Puree until smooth.

Add tomatoes, red wine vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper and pimento to the blender and continue blending until all ingredients are smooth. Slowly add olive oil to blender until thicken.

Taste gazpacho and adjust seasoning, either adding more sugar or vinegar, to your taste.

Place in refrigerator for about 3 hours or overnight and serve cold in bowls (or cups, see below) when ready. Garnish by drizzling with extra virgin olive oil.

Makes about six servings.

Pair with glass of Riesling.

TIP: If you don’t have a blender like me, you can use a hand blender and puree the ingredients in a pot. If you like your gazpacho to be silky smooth, you can run it through a sieve before refrigerating.

CUP OF SOUP: For serving this soup at summer parties like grilling get-togethers, I like serving the gazpacho in coffee mugs or large tea cups where guests can just sip the soup from the cup with a handle instead of using a spoon.


Hungry Dog said...

Wow. This looks amazing. I love the idea of the roasted red pepper--often gazpacho tastes a little flat or, well, raw to me. I think this would make all the difference. And I'm curious about the bread--is that traditional? I've never made gazpacho.

Kim said...

I don't like gazpacho, but these photos are gorgeous!

Single Guy Ben said...

HD, there seems to be two camps with the bread, those that do and those that don't. I think bread for thickening is used most often in the Spanish recipes, although I could be wrong. Lots of recipes when I was looking around said French bread, but I don't really know what that means because I only see French baguettes at my store. And they don't see to have much bread, just crust. :) So I think just any day-old white bread will be good for thickening.

Kim, I didn't like gazpacho too because, like I said, it reminded me of drinking V8 or tomato sauce, but I had some amazing ones in restaurants in the Bay Area (all not red) so that inspired me to try it at home. I liked my home version, although I'm still experimenting with the seasoning. It's all per your taste. But it didn't taste raw to me with all the various ingredients giving the soup substance. And it really helps to refrigerate it and let everything gel together and thicken up. Then it's like soup. I just wish we had some hot days to really appreciate a cool gazpacho.