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This time of year our gardens  and farmers markets are bursting with vegetables of all types, including vast varieties of tomatoes. Not that I am complaining, but sometimes it can be daunting to come up with creative ways to use them so none of these beauties goes to waste. Gazpacho is one of my absolute favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes at their peak and can be a delicious make-ahead meal that is perfect for a light weekday lunch or dinner. 

I have included a recipe below that I really enjoy, but remember that you can be flexible with ingredients.  Take an inventory of what is popping out of the garden or what you have available from your local grocer. With some basic flavors to lay the groundwork, the sky’s the limit!

Alternative ingredient suggestions:

  • Many traditional gazpacho recipes include a jalapeno; in my recipe I use Aleppo pepper instead for a sweet heat.
  • Often times, gazpacho is garnished with cilantro, but you can mix it up and top with a chiffonade of basil.
  • A Spanish version, similar to salmorejo, is served with chopped boiled eggs. 
  • For a heartier version, serve gazpacho topped with shrimp, corn, and sliced or diced avocado.
  • To bump up the color, use red tomatoes for the base and garnish with a few diced yellow or green tomatoes.

Gazpacho 101

Ingredients:
8-10 medium tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves
2 red bell peppers (or the color of your choosing)
1 English cucumber
1 medium red onion
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 ½ — 2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper (depending on the level of spice you prefer)
2 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 slice whole grain bread

Directions:
Place tomatoes in blender with the olive oil and garlic and blend until they become liquidy.

Seed the  peppers, finely chop one and set aside.  Rough chop the other and add to the gazpacho mixture and  blend.

Halve the cucumber. Finely chop one half  and set aside. Add the other half to the gazpacho mixture. and  blend.

Halve  the onion. Finely chop half and set aside.  Add the other half to the gazpacho mixture and blend.

Add the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Aleppo pepper, cumin, salt, pepper and slice of bread and blend until smooth.

Pour the gazpacho into a large serving bowl, add the reserved  chopped pepper, cucumber and onion, stir, and chill for at least an hour before serving.  When ready to serve, garnish with any minced fresh herb of your choice. (pictured here with cilantro.)

-Rachel


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