"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

You Say Gazpacho and I Say Gazpacho

by Julie on July 24, 2011

in Green Goddess

chopped veggies for gazpacho

Chop chop

File under: Things I like to eat that make me sound like a yuppie to my family.

I already told you how, as a blinking tyro in my early ’20s, I had to be schooled about gazpacho by a Pedro Almodovar film. Now I must confess that I am driven to make this “liquid salad” whenever it gets almost hot enough to eschew the farmer’s market.

That’s when all the necessary ingredients (except maybe the canned tomato juice) are at peak perfection, beckoning to be purchased and chopped.

Every summer for the last five I’ve made it. This year, I didn’t even look at a recipe. OK, it might have tasted better had I followed a recipe and cut my veggies smaller, but it tastes pretty delicious to me anyway. So I think what I’ve learned here is that with gazpacho, as with most recipes, it’s always OK to just roll your own, so to speak.

Here’s how I do it riffing off what I remember from the recipe in Cook’s Illustrated:

  • MOST of one large cucumber, diced
  • Three medium tomatoes – diced (local and fresh. If you want to use supermarket tomatoes don’t even bother. Buy yourself a refreshing V8 instead)
  • One red bell pepper – diced
  • two cloves of garlic – diced
  • Four cups of tomato juice plus one cup of water to cut the acidity
  • One half onion – diced
  • Sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar) about 1/4 cup.
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Let all the veggies sit in a large bowl for a bit until the flavors start to mix, add your liquid, throw in a few ice cubes, cover, and push into the fridge overnight.

The next morning you’ll have your mid-summer’s dream.

What’s your secret Gazpacho recipe?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Farmgirl Susan July 27, 2011 at 6:14 am

‘Tis the season! I just wrote about gazpacho yesterday. I love mine blended smooth – and no canned tomato juice required. Cheers! 🙂



Laura August 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Tomato juice has no place in gazpacho, which should be made in the summer with good, field-grown tomatoes. And, you’re missing the olive oil. Good gazpacho uses a ton of it. Olive oil is expensive in the U.S., which is why you rarely find good gazpacho in the U.S. Add at least 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil to the recipe above, drizzled in as the food passes through the blender or food processer, which gives the soup it’s creamy texture and lovely orange-red color, then pass through a sieve several times to remove tomato skin, seeds, etc. I hate eating gazpacho in the U.S., where I’m inevitably presented with a bowl of chunky tomato soup, not the silky-smooth puree of a true gazpacho. Any garnishes (toasted croutons, chopped cucumbers & onions, etc.) should be served on the side so the diner can add them to his/her taste. For such a simple, delicious food, it’s amazing how many ways Americans manage to screw it up. Travel through Spain, order traditional gazpacho everywhere, and come back a changed woman.


Julie August 2, 2011 at 10:22 am

When I make it again I’ll try it this way. Or heck, maybe that’s my cue to just go back to Spain…Thanks, Laura!


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