Thursday, August 07, 2008
Now that we have all these wonderful fresh homegrown tomatoes, we are trying to think of all our favorite ways to use them - and there are many favorites. My Husband/Best Friend/Chief Photographer has made a delicious gazpacho - a cooling cold soup of uncooked fresh vegetables that is so thick it is almost like a juicy salad. If it isn't all eaten the first serving, sometimes we add more chopped vegetables into the juicy mix to marinate and try to keep it going. But this year it's going too fast for that.
He used to make it by the recipe he found in James A. Michener's book Iberia. This year he has gone by a recipe he found on the Internet. I would like to give credit where credit is due, but I don't know where he found it.
I have a friend who is a wonderful and talented cook. She is the only person I know who takes cookbooks to bed with her for bedtime reading. Where I'm immersed in garden and horticulture books and magazines, she reads recipes and has an extensive collection of cookbooks. I think there are people who can read music notes printed on paper and "hear" the music in their head. They just somehow know how it sounds. Jewel is that way about recipes she reads; she just knows how it will taste.
In case you are like my friend, I will copy the recipe here for your pleasure and enjoyment.
1 pound (lb)/450 g fresh tomatoes
1/2 lb/225 g green bell peppers
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 oz/50 g good white bread baguette, 2 to 3 days old
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 oz/90 ml olive oil
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 tomatoes, skinned, diced small
1/2 green pepper, diced small
1/4 peeled cucumber, diced small
toasted baguette (bread) cubes
The soup also classically has hard boiled egg as an accompaniment and these garnishes are served separate in little bowls to be added as desired.
Skin the tomatoes and cut into quarters.
Remove seeds and stalks from peppers.
Peel the cucumber and cut into chunks and prepare the other garnishes.
Tear up the bread and soak it in water for 30 minutes and then squeeze it dry.
Blend all the ingredients.
Chill for at least an hour.
Pour into large bowl with some ice, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve garnishes in separate little bowls on the table, so that guests can sprinkle on their own toppings.
This makes a wonderful cold dish for hot-summertime meals.