My goodness, how time flies – it’s already Thursday and if you’re in school, your first week is almost over! For me, that means the friendly school crossing guard is back near my house in the morning and afternoon with his whistle and ‘STOP’ sign, and children pass to and fro in their school uniforms, chattering happily as they go.
On Monday, I roasted cherry tomatoes from our garden and promised to make gazpacho. Here’s the finished product.
The gazpachos I’m used to eating are a modern version of the soup; that of tomato juice and chunky vegetables. Though I wouldn’t call myself a traditionalist I’m always interested in the origins of things, and I wanted to try out a more traditional version of gazpacho. I had also seen an article on gazpacho in the Serious Eats Food Lab, where the writer tried out various ways to maximize the liquid extracted from his vegetables. I followed his lead by salting them first, then freezing them – and they did indeed yield plenty of juice.
9 medium tomatoes, diced (4.5 cups)
1/2 large red onion, diced (1.5 cups)
2 cloves garlic – roasted
1 red pepper, seeded, roasted, peeled and cut in pieces
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, diced
1 cup zucchini, peeled, seeded, diced
1 large bulb fennel, cored, cut into 12ths and roasted (1.5 cups)
Salt vegetables in a large bowl and let sit for 1 hour, then drain and freeze in a single layer on a baking sheet for 2 hours, reserving the drained liquid (this part in itself is not traditional and it’s a bit of a finicky way to make gazpacho, but if you have the patience and the time then try it out!). Allow to thaw and put all vegetables and liquid into the blender. Blend on high speed (You may have to do this in two batches).
1/4 c water
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 c stale bread, cubed
Soak the bread in water, vinegar and lemon juice. Add to the blender and blend on high speed.
3/8 c olive oil (I used the oil that I roasted Monday’s tomatoes in, plus more olive oil)
With the blender running, drizzle the olive oil into the vegetable/bread mixture to emulsify, until it is smooth. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Add more water and olive oil as needed, until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
Serve with a generous heap of fresh basil, slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, and another drizzle of olive oil – and toasted ciabatta on the side.