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?