The greenhouse is doing it’s job! Summer is over (it went down to 31 degrees last night). Fortunately the tomatoes and peppers are oblivious to those facts and growing like mad. Here is yesterday’s harvest!
We gathered more tomatoes this morning and decided to prolong our personal summer by making a “final” gazpacho for the year.
Gazpacho is a wonderful hot weather lunch or an appetizing starter for just about any meal. In the summer we eat it with carrots and celery sticks dipped in hummus. Some people swear by corn chips, crackers and toast.
No matter how you decide to eat it, making gazpacho is quick and easy. There are only two things to remember: balance the tomatoes with the other veggies and make it early so it has time to chill.
I think that the best tomato to veggie ratio is a 3:1. What I mean is that if you have 3 cups of tomatoes you use 1 cup of the other veggies. This is useful to remember if you are a “eyeball” cook who wants to make a big batch and doesn’t want to bother with exact measuring. I generally make a couple of gallons and a time. Trust me, I don’t want to fool with exact measurements; I am happy to eyeball the proportions. If they look good, I’m happy. And just so you know over the years I have included carrots, celery, green onions and spinach in the veggie mix. So far so good, every batch has turned out well.
When it come to making it ahead of time, I try to put it together a day or even two before serving so that the flavors really have time to meld. Although I must admit, that sometimes after tasting it, it is hard to wait!
Relax and have fun with this recipe. It truly depends on your taste and creativity to come up with your own personal version. If you start with good fresh ingredients, it is really hard to mess it up!
- Gather veggies: the mix you use will depend upon your taste and what is available. Put 1 cup of mixed veggies into the food processor and pulse 5-6 times
- Cucumber (I use a about 1/2 cup)
- Sweet Onion (I use about 1/4 cup)
- Bell Peppers (I use about 1/4 cup)
- Add to the food processor to pulse until the mixture is the texture you like. Since I like it chunky I pulse 6-8 times
- 3 cups fresh tomatoes (if you do not have fresh tomatoes you can used canned diced tomatoes)
- Garlic to taste
- Adding liquid is more governed by taste and preference than anything else but my usual mix is:
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- Pulse 3-4 times
- Pour into a large bowl and stir
- Remove 1/2 to 1 cup of the gazpacho and put it back into the food processor and liquefy with final flavorings:
- Salt to taste
- Herbs – generally basil and oregano: 1 Tablespoon fresh are best or 1 teaspoon of dried
- Pepper to taste
- Tabasco or hot peppers to taste
- Pour back into bowl. You might want to do a quick taste test to make sure the oil, lemon, salt, garlic and herbs are balanced
- Stir well and store in covered container in the fridge for 6-24 hours
- When ready to serve sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley
So here’s to our “final” batch of gazpacho and the last gasp of summer!