Gazpacho: A Sip of Summer

No, I have not been living off of cupcakes this past month during my wedding cupcake project.  I’ve been sipping glasses of gazpacho made from tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers out of my 20 X 20 community garden plot.  So, I actually lost a few pounds during my cupcake testing.  I make gazpacho by the blender pitcher to keep in my fridge and pour it into a jam jar whenever hunger strikes. 

I adore homegrown tomatoes and I usually grow at least ten different varieties.  My favorites are Sungold, Green Zebra, Red Brandywine, and Roma.  And I grow a variety of peppers and cucumbers for Charlie.  Each batch of gazpacho I make reflects the day’s harvest.  And you can play with the color.  For a light green batch mix Green Zebras with a yellow heirloom and yellow pepper.  For a yellow batch mix all yellow tomatoes and peppers.  Play around and see what you prefer. 

Brandywine Heirloom Tomato

I even brought a bright yellow batch of gazpacho to Monica’s wedding shower.  I poured it into small clear plastic 2 ounce glasses that I found at a party store and placed them on a black platter.  It was visually striking, filled with flavor, and easy for the guests to enjoy.  I love sharing food made from my garden produce.

Green Zebra Tomato

 I prefer my gazpacho smooth with an edge of acid and spice.  I find Keena’s Gazpacho, a recipe that I found on the blog, Orangette, to be a wonderful choice.  She blends her olive oil until it is frothy and then begins adding ingredients.  It’s my go-to recipe, which I tweak to my heart's content. 

 Keena’s Gazpacho

Adapted slightly by Laura Heldreth

3 - 5 medium large garden ripe tomatoes, preferably a mix of colors
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic cloves
1 bell pepper—red, orange, or yellow, seeded and chopped
½ of a medium to large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
basil (optional)
2 Tbsp. vinegar--I prefer sherry or champagne
Salt to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water and peel. 

Pour your olive oil into a blender, not a Vita-mix, and crank it up on high and let it run until the oil gets frothy.  This will take a few minutes. Then, I pour the oil into my Vita-mix and shove in all the other vegetables.  I really cram them in. 

Then crank it back up on high and let it run for four minutes or so until it’s completely smooth.  Then add the vinegar, pinch of cayenne and salt.  Process it on low for a moment to combine.  Taste it. And then I place the pitcher in the fridge to chill and for the flavors to blend. 

Serve chilled. Preferably in a jam jar.  

Yield: 6 servings