Beautiful and Delicious Gazpacho
Okay, I gave you a green Gazpacho a few weeks ago. Now, I hand you the red. This is the thing though, I make this exclusively with a Vitamix and really believe the results have something to do with the power of that machine. I have not tried this in a regular blender, but I think you should and just cut everything up a little smaller and maybe give it a little more time to blend for the best consistency. It is important to have a couple of key ingredients for this mostly flexible recipe.Good Sherry Vinegar and smoked Paprika are what I believe set it apart from mediocre to fabulous. Those two pantry items will not sit idle in your kitchen-you will get plenty of other use for them (to begin with, substituting them for other vinegars and regular paprika in your own recipes). Don’t go cheap here, please!
I like Gazpacho in all shapes and forms. The rustic stuff with big chunks of vegetables and lots of garlic is great. So is a more refined version I’ve had that was satiny smooth with no veggie pieces at all and just some jagged and delicious croutons for crunch. I am falling right into the middle with this super quick and easy recipe. First, you are going to blend the hell out of a few ingredients to get a creamy base, and then you are going to spend a few quality minutes with your very sharp knife and cutting board, finely dicing some veggies for texture. You can scatter these on top (like I did for the fancy photo), or mix them in and pour into a to-go cup for a quick and refreshing lunch. Croutons are up to you. I don’t tend to go for them here, but you can make something crispy and garlicky if you desire. I love drizzling a homemade herb oil on top (see below).
The best part of this whole cooking experience is NOT TURNING ON THE STOVE! Yay! Oh yeah, and it’s also beautiful and delicious!
Plain and Simple Delicious Gazpacho
1 small red onion, cut into 2 halves
1/4 cup of good sherry vinegar
2 medium cloves of garlic, smashed with a few pinches of salt, under the blade of your knife
1 large slice of white bread (gluten free or with gluten-no matter)
Around 5-6large farm tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (don’t worry about blemishes)
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded and cut into 2 halves
1 medium pepper (green or any other color will do if you can’t stand green), seeded and cored and cut into 2 halves
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt (or whatever salt you love)
2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
1/2 -3/4cup of EVOO
Optional, Basil or Parsley or Chives-Or no herbs at all! (I almost never use them), Croutons, any homemade herb oil for serving (blend a few handfuls of a fresh herb with 1/2 cup of EVOO and strain)
Take one of the halves of the red onion and dice finely as you are able. Put in a small bowl and cover with the vinegar and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Get out the jug of your blender or Vitamix and toss in the garlic, bread, tomatoes, one of the halves of the of the cucumber and pepper (only roughly chop if using a regular blender), salt and paprika. When the onion has soaked, strain the vinegar into the blender, reserving the diced onion. Place the lid on and let her rip! I go to about medium speed on the Vitamix and that’s plenty. After a minute or two, pour in the olive oil through the top hole in the lid. Blend another 30 seconds and refrigerate immediately.
Take the other two veggie halves (cucumber and pepper) and dice as finely as the reserved red onion. Throw them in the same bowl and refrigerate too. You can eat this as soon as you like, really, but it’s best chilled for at least an hour and as long as overnight. Serve with a good handful of the diced veggies and a drizzle of your herb oil (if you have it). Serve it in cups, bowls, jelly jars, to-go mugs…