Friday, August 12, 2005

A Reader Question about Gazpacho


I found your blog through a posting you left on Heidi's 101Cookbook
site (of which I am completely obsessed with!), and I've enjoyed
poking around on yours as well. Would you be willing to share your
gazpacho recipe with me? It's on my list of "to make dishes" while
the weather is still warm. And I love love love gazpacho.

Thanks much,


Hi "M", thanks for your e-mail. I would say that Gazpacho is a state of mind more than a recipe! It'a all about the amazing freshness and flavor of summer packed into a savory smoothie that somehow just comforts you.

There are as many different ways to make Gazpacho as there are carvings on the walls of the Alhambra. Some like a chunky soup, others pureed and uniform. Some include bell peppers, and some not. Some are thickened with day old bread, others with egg, and still others are pungent with garlic. And that's to say nothing of Gazpacho's cousins: Gazpachuelo, Salmorejo, and Ajo Blanco (A white garlic and almond soup that is also served chilled).

But to satisfy your craving, I will give you a basic recipe for Gazpacho, and ask that you experiment, trying it different ways, with a different ratio of vegetables, perhaps some bread, more or less garlic, herbs you like, until you find one that sings the plaintive cry of Al Andaluz in your heart.

serves 4

6 large ripe tomatoes
2 sweet red peppers
2 medium yellow onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 large cucumbers
1/2 cup aged sherry vinegar
1/2 cup best quality Spanish Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups canned tomato juice
pinch of cayenne pepper
lime juice
chopped dill or cilantro

Chop the vegetables and mix together. Puree the garlic in a food processor. working in batches, puree the vegetables, adding a little olive oil and tomato juice to keep things moving. Puree to desired consistency. After each batch, remove to a large chilled bowl. You may wish to keep the last batch pretty chunky, and add it to the puree for some texture. When finished, mix in sherry vinegar, tomato juice, olive oil, lime juice and cayenne until desired consistency and sharpness, along with the chopped herbs or your choice. Serve chilled.

© 2005, Mark Tafoya


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