Gazpacho

 

 

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I’ve had a bit of trouble posting this blog entry but I think I finally have the right version posted this time. Earlier in the year, when I was toying with the idea of starting a food blog, I tested the waters by posting recipes on my Facebook page. I’m trying to move those recipes here to the real blog so that I have a complete file on this site. Pardon the posting glitch.

This is a wonderful appetizer/first course.

I originally found this recipe on the NY Times’ food page. I love the glowing golden color of this soup. Wait!  Is it a soup? One source I read called gazpacho a liquid salad. I like that.

If you enjoy food history as I do, the background for gazpacho is pretty interesting. While it is most often associated with southern Spain, food historians believe the dish was probably introduced to Spain during the Middle Ages by North African Muslims who, in Spain, were called Moors. Some historians, on the other hand, trace the soup’s origins back to the Romans. Interestingly, the soup originally consisted of garlic, almonds, stale bread, sherry vinegar and olive oil or water and the ingredients were pounded together in a large wooden bowl. It was a worker’s dish. After Columbus’ discovery of New World foods, the recipe often was altered to include tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers and cooks haven’t looked back since then in modifying the recipe in all sorts of glorious ways. This recipe, for example, contains no bread.

In the 19th Century, gazpacho became a more widely-eaten dish with recipes popping up in northern Europe and in the United States. French writer Theophile Gautier, for example,  carried stories about the dish back from Spain to northern Europe, calling it “hell broth.” One of the first transfers of the dish to America was recorded in a 1824 cookbook, The Virginia Housewife.

I served this gazpacho in an elegant glass. No one at my table called it hell broth…at least, not to my face.

Recipe: Gazpacho

2 Pounds of ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks

1 Light green pepper like an Anaheim, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks

1 Cucumber

1 Small white or red onion, peeled and roughly cut into chunks

1 Clove garlic

2 t. sherry vinegar, more to taste

Salt

1/3 Cup extra-virgin olive oil more to taste, plus more for drizzling

Directions:

Blend tomatoes, pepper, cucumber. onion and garlic in a blender until the mixture is totally blended and very smooth. This will take two to three minutes and you will want to use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the blender bowl several times during the process.

Keep the blender motor running and add vinegar and 2 t. salt and slowly add the olive oil to the blender bowl. You can vary the amount of olive oil you use to get the right smooth texture for your gazpacho. Your gazpacho should be the consistency o a smooth, emulsified salad dressing.

Strain the gazpacho through a sieve or strainer to remove any remaining solids.

Store in your refrigerator in a glass container for at least six hours and preferably overnight to thoroughly chill before serving. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. You can add a bit more salt or vinegar or some lemon juice to your taste. I like lemon juice. Top with a few drops of olive oil and serve.

Here is the link to the original recipe in the NY Times.

NY Times’ Gazpacho Recipe


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