August 27, 2017

Garden Gazpacho

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Gazpacho is so refreshing, especially when local tomatoes are at their peak. My version is peppy because I add vegetable cocktail and wine instead of bland stock. I am wild about it, and so will you be.

3 lb (1.5 kg) ripe tomatoes, peeled, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 large garden cucumber (1 lb/500 g), peeled, seeded, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded, deveined, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) diced red onion
2 to 3 cups (500 to 750 mL) vegetable cocktail
1/2 cup (125 mL) dry red wine
1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped cilantro and/or parsley, divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped tarragon
2 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground black pepper
1/2 large English cucumber (8 oz/250 g), peeled, diced (1/4 inch/0.5 cm)
1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded, diced (1/4 inch/0.5 cm)
Hot sauce to taste

In large storage tub, stir together tomatoes (with juices), garlic, garden cucumber, jalapeño, onion and 2 cups (500 mL) vegetable cocktail. Cover. Let sit at least 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Drain in large fine-mesh sieve set over medium bowl. Reserve juices. Whirl solids in blender just until puréed. (Do not overmix; consistency should not be light and frothy.) Return to storage tub. Add reserved juices. Stir in wine, vinegar, oil, worcestershire, 2 tbsp (30 mL) cilantro or parsley, tarragon, 2 tsp (10 mL) salt and pepper. Stir in English cucumber and bell pepper.

Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until chilled. Add some or all of remaining 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable cocktail to adjust consistency. Adjust salt.

Before serving, sprinkle with remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) cilantro and/or parsley. Serve hot sauce alongside.

Makes 10 cups (2.5 L).

  • If you don’t devein the jalapeño, the gazpacho will indeed be nippy. For more precise control over the spice level, devein the jalapeño and add hot sauce (or not) at the end.

Tool Time: Using a serrated peeler is the fastest, easiest way to peel tomatoes.

Shopping Cart: I don’t often specify name brands, but for this recipe, I prefer to use V8 vegetable cocktail and Frank’s RedHot sauce. You can use low-sodium V8.