Gazpacho

Growing up and through college, I had gazpacho every once in a while.  It always sounded nice and refreshing, but was also always disappointing.  It mostly tasted like salsa, not soup, and although I love salsa, I didn’t really want it for dinner.

After college, I went to what is now my favorite restaurant: Jaleo.  I had their gazpacho and it changed my life.  It was delicious!  I wanted to lick the bowl (I may actually have).

And in another life-altering moment, the local paper published Jaleo’s gazpacho recipe a few years ago.  Turns out that the secret ingredient (or maybe not so secret?  maybe I was the only one unaware of this?) is olive oil.  The olive oil is what takes gazpacho from salsa to soup, from pureed vegetables to creamy refinement, from “eh” to “oh my.”  So try this recipe as soon as possible…it tastes like summer.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cores removed and coarsely chopped
3 ounces green pepper, coarsely chopped
½ medium cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt to taste
diced tomatoes, peppers, and cucumber for garnish

Directions:

Puree the vegetables with the garlic and sherry vinegar (I use my blender rather than food processor…it does a better job of pureeing).  Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds and skins (I sometimes skip this step because I am lazy…you can definitely taste the seeds and skins, but its not a huge deal).  Return to blender and blend in oil and salt.  Cover and chill thoroughly, at least 45 minutes.  Serve garnished with diced tomatoes, pepper and cucumber.

Source: Jaleo restaurant via The Washington Post.

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