It’s been unbearably hot in Oakland (by Oakland standards, ie. highs in the 80s). So hot in fact, that after a bout of inexperienced grilling on Labor’s Day Eve, we opted not to grill on Labor Day, and instead make some no-cooking, no-heat gazpacho. I used Mark Bittman’s simple recipe from How To Cook Everything as a jumping-off point. Then I consulted the Martha Stewart Living Cookbook: The New Classics (on a side note: I like this cookbook a lot, but what I find frustrating about it is the clever marketing scheme they have devised to force you to buy the “Original” Classics book in addition: they list all the recipe’s from “Original” IN THE INDEX for “New.” So annoying! So you find the perfect shaved artichoke and fennel salad and then it’s NOT in the book you have????!!!!).
What I ended up including was:
tomatoes (really a bitch to de-seed, why haven’t they come up with a machine for that?), Persian cucumbers (substituted for Kirby), flat leaf parsley, cilantro, orange bell pepper, bread, water, lime, good white wine vinegar, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Unfortunately it was Labor Day and Trader Joe’s was out of jalapeno.
I’m satisfied with the recipe, but I am unsure about the puree–I like a little more texture in my gazpacho. Eating something this smooth makes me feel too close either to infancy or losing my teeth, not sure.
What is much more satisfying, and more importantly so, is coming home after a long day of school and being able to pour yourself a bowl of nice cold refreshing liquid that won’t get you too buzzed to do your homework.
I’d love to hear reader’s comments on gazpacho-making, recipes that worked for you, and variations.