I like to think of gazpacho as a chilled beverage/soup served in a glass to hydrate in the hot weather months, in the spirit of Seville, Spain, where I visited several summers ago. David Lebovitz said he liked to think of it as an icy-cold liquid salad. What do you think of it?
This David Lebovitz’s gazpacho recipe calls for three pounds of ripe tomatoes. When I started making the gazpacho, found out I only had two pounds on hand, so I adapted the recipe loosely. That’s the fun and joy in the making. A little of this, a little of that, everything came together beautifully and deliciously. No strain and no stress.
The key players are ripe tomatoes and olive oil. The rest is roughly: one slice of bread, one cucumber, one red onion, one bell pepper, two garlic cloves, about one tablespoon of red wine vinegar, half a teaspoon of smoked paprika or chili powder, and salt and pepper. All peeled, seeded and cut into pieces. I skipped the vodka, since I don’t have any. Everything went into the high-power Vitamix and blend until smooth. I drizzled in the olive oil in a steady stream while the blender was running, until the gazpacho turned bright orange and emulsified.
Taking the skins off the tomatoes took a bit of time, compared to the otherwise high-speed operation with the Vitamix. That involves plunging the tomatoes into the boiling water and blanching them for 30 seconds, or until the skins loosen. Rinse under cold water. Then peel off the skins. I used a box grater to mesh the peeled tomatoes over a large bowl. Discarded tough parts of the core and some seeds. (I may skip this step next time in the interest and benefit of whole juicing.) The rest all went into the blender. No sweating of the small details.
September is here, picking in the herb garden has turned slimmer. I cut some basil and parsley. Chopped them up and mixed in with the goat cheese. Drizzled in some olive oil and seasoning. Smeared the herbed cheese spread on the toasted bread. Served it with the gazpacho. It’s a light meal, brimming with the orange glow of tomatoes in the sun, still lingering, at the close of the summer season….
Gazing skyward, here in East Asia last evening, where I am passing by at the moment, the warm glow came from the bright full moon, in the midst of the mid-autumn festival. Looking onto the streets and living rooms, traditional handmade lanterns framed by paper and rattan, and lit with candles (or with LED lights in contemporary versions), were casting a festive glow while families gathered for dinner celebrations, savoring the customary moon cakes as desserts.
Please visit Cook-the-book-fridays to see more comments on this recipe from the online group, a community of engaging home cooks, who are working through David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.