April 27, 2018

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. This recipe has been published in print, but I am repeating it online at the request of my friends Bobby and Greg. They say they are wild about my gazpacho because “it’s got bite.”

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 (50 mL) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped cilantro or parsley, divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped tarragon
2 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground black pepper
1/2 large English cucumber (8 oz/225 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 and let stand at least 2 hours, or refrigerate overnight.

Drain juices and reserve. 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 and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until chilled. Add some or all of remaining 1 cup (150 mL) vegetable cocktail to adjust consistency. Adjust salt.

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

Makes 10 cups (2.5 L).

  • Using a serrated peeler is the fastest, easiest way to peel tomatoes.
  • If you don’t devein the jalapeño, the gazpacho will indeed be nippy. If you want more precise control over the spice level, devein the jalapeño and add hot sauce (or not) at the end.

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.