Ah, summer produce! Just returned from a week at Kiawah Island. It was heaven! Biked a lot, hung out at our pool and the beach, no make-up, no bra and ... well, you get the idea. (Lots of good summer drinks, too but we won't go into that now). The best part was the wonderful farm stand (Rosebank Farms) right around the corner. Local peaches, tomatoes, corn, okra and gorgeous fresh flowers. Oh yeah!
So first up: gazpacho. This recipe is adapted from one I got years ago from my good friend Scott Peacock. It's good the first day, but even better on the second when it is thoroughly chilled and the flavors have had a chance to blend. Oh, and don't even THINK about using a food processor for this, folks. Seriously. It's supposed to be kinda chunky.
*4 small yellow local cucumbers
3 small sweet local onions
1 red onion
2 yellow peppers
2 red bell peppers
6 stalks celery, leaves included
4 large heirloom tomatoes
2 hot peppers (jalapenos or whatever you like), minced
8 cups vegetable or tomato juice (preferably organic)
2 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons tabasco or hot sauce
Sour cream or yogurt for serving
Use a large chef's knife to chop cucumbers, onions, peppers , celery, scallions and tomatoes. Vegetables need to be finely chopped, but still just a bit chunky. Stir in hot peppers, vegetable juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and hot sauce. Taste to adjust seasoning. Let chill and serve when very cold, topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
This ended up making about 4 quarts (yeah, I always make too much). Feel free to halve the recipe, although gazpacho never lasts too long around here. I have been known to eat it for breakfast.....
*substitute 1 regular cucumber if you can't get the small, yellow local ones.
Oh, and one final comment. Never, EVER make this when tomatoes aren't ripe and at their peak of juiciness! There's a reason why it's called "Summer Gazpacho."