The staff at AAR so enjoyed sharing our Christmas sweets that we decided to do it again, but in celebration of the yummy summer months. Who knew there was more to summer than Salad and 72 Variations? We started with Amy’s Fried Green Tomatoes on Tuesday, and now every Thursday we’ll be publishing a new summer recipe from one of our staff. Enjoy! – Jean AAR
I should say right up front that this is not a recipe I created. Years ago I was out for lunch with a friend in Chicago and she ordered gazpacho. Curious, I decided to order a cup of it myself and was instantly in love. Chock full of veggies, refreshing, cool (it was a hot day), with a bit of spice, it hit the spot. When I commented that I would love to be able to make it at home she shared the recipe she’d been using for years.
Since that time, gazpacho has become one of my go-to recipes in the summer. I tend to make it the most in July and August when local tomatoes are available in abundant quantities at the market. But with “tomatoes on the vine” available at other times, I will often give in to my craving and make it at other times.
I continue to try gazpacho at local restaurants, but have been less than satisfied in recent years. Everyone seems to be adding “extras” that I find unnecessary. One local restaurant has made a “southwestern” version adding in black beans, corn, avocado, and tortilla chips. While I like all those ingredients I find them less than satisfying in gazpacho. Another local seafood restaurant adds large shrimp and crab pieces to the gazpacho. Now I love both of those as well, but find they completely overwhelm the gazpacho.
So for now I’m sticking with my friend’s recipe listed below. I’m sure the recipe is either from some common magazine or cookbook, but I have no idea what the original source is. My friend likes to blend all the ingredients so there are no chunks of veggies. I go in the other direction and either don’t blend it at all, or just blend a small amount of the mixture and add it back to somewhat thicken the broth.
- 6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (I use two “baby” or Persian cucumbers)
1 sweet red bell pepper (or green) seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 or more drops of Tabasco sauce to taste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (omit for vegetarian option)
4 cups tomato juice
- Combine all ingredients. Blend slightly, to desired consistency. Place in non-metal, non-reactive storage container, cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, allowing flavors to blend.
I usually make a big batch of gazpacho on a Sunday and then bring small containers of it for my lunch the next few days. Since it doesn’t have any protein I usually eat a piece of cheese or two with it. My friend likes to have it with tortilla chips, but will admit I haven’t tried it yet.
Have you ever made gazpacho? If so, how does yours differ?