Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Gazpacho, Cooking with Friends


This is going to be a story of a cold summer soup that I'd eaten but never made myself, and the very good food blogger friends who inspired me to try making it. The story begins with Elise, who once upon a time made Gazpacho and posted about it on her blog. The Gazpacho looked delicious and Alanna noted Elise's recipe, tried it herself, and decided it was a keeper.

Fast forward to August when Genie makes Yellow Gazpacho and writes about it for Weekend Herb Blogging, causing me to confess that even though I had plenty of tomatoes, I had never tried making it myself. Then the next day I was chatting online with Alanna, and she mentioned she was going to be posting about some Gazpacho she had made this Wednesday. Alanna raved about Elise's recipe, and since I'm such a big fan of everything about Elise, including the way she cooks, I was intrigued. "You should make it too," Alanna said. "After all, we're always channeling each other. Why not do it for real?

It was true Alanna and I had both noted how we often cooked the same things within days, hours, or minutes of each other. And I did have all those red and yellow tomatoes. And then Alanna told me that Nic, who I had fun getting to know at Blogher, was also going to be making Gazpacho that day. That settled it. I made the commitment.

I thought I had most of the ingredients for making Gazpacho, but just to make sure I went online and checked out Elise's Gazpacho recipe and Genie's Gazpacho recipe. I thought maybe I'd use a combination of red and yellow tomatoes, kind of get the best of both worlds, since that's what was ripe in the garden. I had to make a quick stop at the store to get tomato juice and celery, and I was set.

I'll give you the step-by-step in the recipe below, but let me tell you that making Gazpacho with my great food blogger friends was a life-changing experience for me. Life-changing in that I'll never go another summer for the rest of my life without making gazpacho a few times, especially whenever I have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, parsley, and basil in my garden.

Just how good was it? Well, yesterday I had some for breakfast and a big bowl again for lunch. I don't think I've ever eaten that much summery goodness in one day before.


Gazpacho with Red and Yellow Tomatoes
(about 6 servings, recipe adapted by Kalyn with inspiration from Elise's Gazpacho recipe and Genie's Gazpacho recipe.)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 tsp. sea salt
3 ripe yellow tomatoes, diced
3 ripe red tomatoes, diced
(or use all red tomatoes or all yellow tomatoes)
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2-3 T fresh parsley, chopped finely
2-3 T fresh basil, chopped finely
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
4-6 shakes green Tabasco, or your favorite hot sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce (for vegetarians, look for a brand without anchovies)
2 cups tomato juice (or more if you prefer it more liquidy)
fresh ground pepper and additional salt to taste

Instructions:
Get a large plastic or glass bowl big enough to hold all the ingredients. Put red wine vinegar into the bowl. In food processor with steel blade combine garlic with sea salt (or use mortar and pestle and then add salt mixture to food processor bowl.) Add tomatoes to food processor and pulse until desired texture. (I left mine rather chunky with pieces that varied from 1/4-1/2 inch.) Put tomatoes into plastic bowl with vinegar.

Put cucumber and red onion into food processor, pulse to desired texture, and put into bowl. Repeat with celery and red pepper, pulsing together. I made all the vegetables about the same size, but you may want to make some bigger and some smaller.

Stir parsley, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, tabasco, Worcestershire, and tomato juice into vegetables in bowl. (Add more tomato juice if it seems too thick. I found two cups was as much as I wanted.) Taste and season with fresh ground black pepper and more salt if needed.

Chill overnight for flavors to develop, although you will probably have to have a bowl or two before putting the rest in the refrigerator just to reassure yourself how good it is.


That's my Gazpacho adventure. Now head over to A Veggie Venture to see Alanna's Gazpacho and Bakingsheet to see Nic's Gazpacho.

Who knows, maybe cooking with friends will become the next big food blog trend, replacing memes with an event where everyone makes their own version of a certain dish. Stay tuned to see whether I'll be cooking with my friends again.

South Beach Suggestions:
Of course, for anyone who's interested, this Gazpacho is simply the perfect South Beach Diet food. For phase one, combine it with something like Warm Salmon and Asparagus Salad for a great summer meal. For phase two or three, you could serve the Gazpacho with whole wheat pita bread and hummus for a great Mediterranean meal.
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17 comments:

Alanna said...

For breakfast?! Me too!! Your photos are terrific, the clear bowl is gorgeous for presentation! And it's so cool that you loved the gazpacho so much!! Thanks for "channeling", I love the impromptu-ness.

Kalyn said...

Hi Alanna,
Getting a good photo of this with a clear bowl was a challenge, considering my limited skill with the new camera. But I have Elise to thank for steering me towards the camera too. I can't rave enough about how much I loved the Gazpacho. No idea why I never made it sooner, since I always liked it in restaurants. I see we were channeling each other with our comments too, since I barely left a comment on your blog when this one popped up here.

Tanna said...

Why more people don't make this everyother day while tomatoes and veggies are so good maybe one of the great mysteries of life. Yes, when there are no other mouths to feed - I'll eat this for breakfast lunch and dinner.

Genie said...

Kalyn, your version looks fabulous! I'm so glad you're enjoying your creation -- gazpacho's definitely one of my favorite summer treats.

Genie
The Inadvertent Gardener

Kevin said...

Kalyn,
Gazpacho is one of the best reasons on Earth for tomatoes (not that they need an excuse).

Ruth said...

I love gazpacho and your's looks particularly delicious. Too bad I can't get my Honey to eat it.

Thanks for letting me live vicariously though.

Nic said...

Great photos, Kalyn. I tend to go for the really smooth gazpacho, myself, but your presentation is head and shoulders above mine!

Kalyn said...

Tanna, it's a mystery to me for sure, now that I've made it.

Genie, thanks to you and Elise for the inspiration.

Kevin, you're right!

Ruth, just make some and eat it all yourself.

Nic, I thought your smoother version looked fabulous too.

Elise said...

Hi Kalyn, what a nice surprise to return to my computer to see my favorite bloggers stirring up gazpacho! I love this recipe. Can't believe you've been growing tomatoes for this long without ever having made gazpacho. Isn't it terrific? I wish I could just pop on over and have a bowl of yours. Cheers, Elise. :-)

Kalyn said...

Now this channeling stuff is getting eerie. I just barely sent Elise an e-mail to congratulate her for her blog being mentioned on Time's list of 50 best web sites (that's Time magazine folks, way to go Elise) and while I'm writing it she leaves me that comment. We've all synchronized our thoughts over the gazpacho I guess.

christine said...

Kalyn,
Your gazpacho looks and sounds divine. I've been buying loads of organic tomatoes lately so I think I'll try your recipe. it's definitely going in my del.icio.us cookbook!

lucette said...

I like the cooking with friends idea--very cozy.

Ysha said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I've been looking for ways to use up our overabundance of tomatoes, when I really don't like them very much. This, however, turns out to be one of those ways that I like tomatoes.

I've linked back to this recipe from my blog.

Tracy said...

Wonderful Gazpacho, I can't believe I took so long to post a comment!! I have found my new breakfast "vacation" from eggs!! Thanks so much!

GrowItGreen said...

I can't wait to give your recipe a try. i make gazpacho weekly in the hot summer months and it always helps to have a few recipes to switch things up a bit.
try one of my other favorites at http://www.foodista.com
ENJOY!

Kate said...

This looks delicious! I've been missing Gazpacho ever since I visited Spain last summer.

I do have one modification, though: This recipe is listed under "vegetarian recipes." I would make a note that Worchestershire sauce contains anchovies, so vegetarians will have to buy a vegetarian version.

This blog is beautiful, and I can't wait to try the recipes!

Kalyn said...

Kate, thanks, I didn't realize that but just made a note of it in the recipe.

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