Gazpacho! How do YOU make it?

bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)July 15, 2006

This is my July project. Each month I try and learn a new recipe. I research and ask questions and try to come up with a winner. I started with baked ziti, but because my boys are out of town and my daughter had jaw surgery, I think that will wait until September.

BUT, today I made my first batch of gazpacho. Seems the recipes are divided between simple gazpacho, traditional with bread as an ingredient, and those containing seafood.

I just tried the simple - 1/2 pureed and 1/2 chunk. Here's what I did.

1 large english cucumber

3 large tomatoes diced, skins on.

1 large green pepper

1 red onion

3 garlic cloves - I used the jarred - too much chopping

1/4 c red wine vinegar

2 1/2 c tomato juice

salt - I used about 2 tsp kosher

ground pepper to taste

1/4 c fresh parsley (cilantro? basil?)

juice of one lime (I'm sticking with lime rather than lemon)

tabasco to taste.

Then I added:

1T olive oil

1 jalapeno chopped

I chopped and mixed everything and then put 1/2 in a blender. I think I will do 1/3 blended in the future.

How do you make gazpacho?

Basil? Cilantro? Sugar? Sweet paprika? Other vinegar? More olive oil? Skinned toms? I have read dozens of recipes and have come up with what I think will work for us.

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solana(z5a NH)

Hmm when the weather and fresh ingredients call for gazpacho, I find both bread and seafood unnecessarily heavy. Tend to think of it as salsa in soup form. I'm looking for sprightly, refreshing.

Thus, I'd definitely add a bit of cilantro (if your family likes it) in addition to parsley. Consider using balsamic instead of/in combination with red wine vinegar (to my taste, a touch of sweet without actual sugar.) I'd forego the canned tomato juice in favor of a fresher taste. Minimize salt and oil to taste.

Skinning the tomatoes would yield a jucier gazpacho, but a heck of a lot of work on a humid day. I'd rather you spend that time smashing fresh garlic. (makes it easy to peel; you could put it all in the blender portion.)

By all means serve with some toasted country sourdough bread for a contrast in texture. I just wouldn't want the bread to be soggy.

Spanish friends might balk at my less-than-tradional take, but I cook for my palate, not posterity. That's how I do it.

Ana

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 6:22PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Thanks for the tips. I am a big balsamic vinegar fan as well. Perhaps 1/2 and 1/2 next time would be interesting.

I do tend to lazy out on the jarred garlic and I agree that fresh is so much superior - great idea to toss all in with the blender portion - that will make things easier.

I like the idea of cilantro - I just didn't want it to taste too much like salsa. I wasn't all that excited about the parsley either, but perhaps I will try another variety than the regular flat leaf.

Anyone else? Anyone making cold soups this summer?

    Bookmark   July 22, 2006 at 12:36PM
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ginam_oh(COL/OH z5)

Being married to a Spaniard, this is a summer staple in our fridge. Not many ingredients, which makes it both easier to make and extra refreshing (I think). Our recipe changes a bit here and a bit there, but always consists of the following:

Fresh, garden-ripe tomatoes (skin on...I'm too lazy)--6ish
Fresh cucumbers, peeled--2ish
Vidalia onions--one
Garlic to taste--we use 3-4 cloves. Sometimes more if we want it to have a little more "bite"
Red wine vinegar--not too much, maybe a quarter cup or even less?
EV olive oil--quarter- to half-cup or thereabouts
Salt to taste--I fresh grind sea salt and toss it in

Blend, blend, blend, blend. When it's all nice and soupy, we add a good hunk of crusty bread that we have soaked in water and then wrung out. Chunk it up, chuck it into the blender, and blend it in with the rest.

Hubby likes his chunky so I hard boil some eggs, chop some extra cucumbers and onions, and cube some good bread, all of which he throws in just before we eat. I like mine nice and smoooooth. No extras for me, thanks!

My MIL sometimes adds a touch of paprika if the tomatoes aren't super red. This gives her gazpacho that nice orangey-red color. I normally don't do it but mostly because, again, I'm just too lazy. :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2006 at 3:20PM
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