Even though it's Back-to-School time, the weather is still Summery and we've still got plenty of time to fit in some warm weather recipes before Fall. One of which: GAZPACHO! Gazpacho is a raw, chilled soup-- no cooking required. It's packed to the gills with veg so it has an amazingly fresh flavor. Make it tonight, but don't plan on kissing anyone-- it's got the holy trinity of breath offenders: onions, garlic, and bell peppers. It's worth it though. Promise.
2 medium sized zucchini, diced
2 medium sized cucumbers, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced (avoid white parts)
5-6 medium sized tomatoes, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a red onion, diced finely
1/2 of an anaheim pepper, diced finely (just for a slight kick-- this is optional)
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro or basil (take your pick), chopped finely
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 cups tomato juice (I wonder what would happen if you went half spicy tomato juice and half regular?...might be something to consider)
In a large bowl combine all diced veggies. Take half away and put them in a food processor (if you don't have one, work in batches using a blender). Add garlic and a splash of tomato juice. Process until the veggies are fine, but there is still good texture and flecking throughout. Transfer the processed veggies/tomato/garlic mixture back to original bowl. Add vinegar, lemon juice, cilantro or basil (pick one or the other), and the rest of your tomato juice. Mix well. S&P to taste. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours to allow flavors to get acquainted. Overnight is best. Will keep in refrigerator for 4-6 days.
You can garnish the gazpacho with some cubed avocado or a dollop of sour cream. It's also excellent served with a little parm crostini (pictured). To make the crostini, pre-heat your oven to 350. Take a slice of rustic bread and brush extra virgin olive oil over the surface. Finish with a solid layer of grated parmesan cheese. Cook on a small cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes, depending on how crisp you would like it. ENJOY!
images by Briana