a refreshing summer staple
When I first met my husband, he told me about this restaurant he used to frequent with his mother called Salmagundi's at South Coast Plaza in Orange County, CA (unfortunately they went out of business before I moved to So Cal so I never had the pleasure of eating there). When Marty went to Salmagundi's (I just love saying that name), he always got a bowl of gazpacho which he described to me as salsa soup and THE BEST DISH EVER. While I love salsa, I couldn't imagine eating it straight up out of a bowl so I kind of dismissed the idea and wrote it off as something I would never make.
A few years ago, on a blistering hot day, Marty tried again to convince me that gazpacho was a refreshing dish, perfect for our Tennessee summers. I caved in and decided to give it a try. After searching the internet for ideas, rather than follow one specific recipe, I decided to wing it and throw together whatever sounded good to me. What resulted was a dynamic burst of summery freshness and, from my first spoonful, I was hooked.
Now, Marty and I anxiously look forward to warm weather and ripe, local produce so we can make gazpacho. Once the temperatures get above 70 degrees, our fridge is rarely without a bowl of this lively vegetable medley.
makes a huge bowl full
- 4 large, very ripe tomatoes (or 2 fresh tomatoes and 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes)
- 1 peeled cucumber
- 1 bell pepper (or an extra cucumber)
- 1 small red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- jalapeno to taste (I usually use 1)
- fresh cilantro to taste (I usually use about 1/2 of a bunch)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- juice from 1/4 of a lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- diced avocado / guacamole / vegan sour cream / raw corn kernels (optional)
- Roughly chop the tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion into large chunks.
- Add the veggies and everything else to a food processor and pulse until you have very small pieces (the size of a kernel of corn or smaller).
- Taste and add more vinegar, lemon, olive oil and/or salt & pepper if necessary.
- Top with diced avocado, guacamole, a dollop of vegan sour cream, sprinkle with corn kernels cut right off the cob or all of the above!