Thursday, October 16, 2008
I know it's a little late to post a mid summer meal like gazpacho, (when you have more tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers than you know what to do with). For me that came a little later this summer and then it took a while to put the post up. So it you are moving onto fall produce and meals, tuck this one away for next summer because it's surely a keeper! Or give it a try on the next nice fall afternoon we have! In my mind gazpacho should have some body to it, lots of flavor and some weight on your tongue, not just V-8 with some vegetables floating in it! I found a great recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook. What I like about this recipe is it has some bread in it (gives a great deal of body and mouth feel)and it roasts the peppers and tomatoes which brings a deeper depth of flavor. While it is a little more work than your normal gazpacho it is worth the work!
Gazpacho (adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook pg 88-89)
Serves 6 as a main coarse
2 pounds of tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
1 cucumber or 2 small kirby cucumbers (pickling cucumbers), peeled, seeded, chopped
4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
2 TBS of sherry vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
4 slices (1/2" thick) good quality bread, crusts removed
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp minced fresh tarragon (optional, if you have it)
Heat the oven to 350. Roast the tomatoes and peppers for 30 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and place them in a bowl to cool. Continue to roast the peppers until lightly charred, then remove them from the pan and place them in a covered bowl or paper bag until cool (helps to remove the skin). Remove skin and cores from tomatoes and tear the flesh into smaller pieces over a bowl to catch all the juice. Remove the skin and seeds from the bell peppers and add to the tomatoes. Add in chopped garlic, cucumbers, vinegar and oil.
Rip the pieces of bread into 1" pieces and add 1/2 cup water to the bread. Let it soak for 10 minutes. Drain any excess water, but don't squeeze the bread. Transfer the bread to the bowl with the tomato mixture along with the salt, pepper and tarragon (if using). Mix everything well and cover and let sit 8 hours to overnight)in the refrigerator. Up to a few hours before serving, thoroughly blend everything in the blender and check again for seasoning adding more salt, pepper or vinegar if necessary. Feel free to garnish with a little fresh herbs (basil or chives or parsley) on top. Serve chilled.