The tomato saga continues...
I never liked gazpacho even though I never had it. Cold soup? Blech! Don't need a taste to figure out that would be g-r-o-s-s. Not to mention I went through a finicky stage with tomatoes (no chunks of tomatoes in pasta sauce, but I could eat them on a sandwich or salad no problem) in my youth. As I, and my tastes, matured, gazpacho fell off my radar.
Until my husband & I spent our first anniversary exploring the Andalucia region of Spain. In a fantastic tapas bar in Granada, you got a "free" tapa with each drink order. The "free" tapa the day we went was gazpacho. (Note that I rarely turn down free food, no matter if I'll like it or not.) I took a hesitant bite....it was *delicious*! And perfect for the hot weather. What was wrong with me & why hadn't I given this a try earlier???!!?? (Don't answer that.)
This recipe is a Jose Andres incarnation. Except mine doesn't look as pretty as I just topped it with freshly cracked black pepper and fleur de sel. And doesn't have sherry or sherry vinegar. I completely omitted the sherry as I don't drink it & wasn't going to buy a bottle of the good stuff (simple recipes are not the place to use suboptimal ingredients). I substituted red wine vinegar for the sherry vinegar as some of my tapas cookbooks had that in their recipe. Thus, I feel that substitution is legit. Serve this with little garlic toasts.*
Word on the interwebs is that pureed gazpacho like this freezes OK. Not sure this stuff will last that long, but if I give it a try, I'll update this post.
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
1/2 English/hothouse cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
1. Throw everything in the blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (Note: that this almost exceeded the capacity of my 9 cup food processor, so you may want to do in batches)
2. If desired (I didn't do this), pour through mesh sieve into serving vessel (pitcher, bowl, etc.)
3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for flavors to combine.
4. Top with salt & pepper or Jose's fancy, schmancy toppings
*Slice crusty bread & toast both sides. While still warm, take a garlic clove & rub one side of each toast. Season with salt & pepper (this is critical).