The few tomatoes that showed up in my FarmBox just stoked the flame of my desire to eat all things tomato.  I saw these beautiful orange tomatoes at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and decided to do a riff on a classic… gazpacho.  The major adjustment being the color of the soup which is normally red.

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I have very strong opinions about how gazpacho should be made and how it should taste.  It should NOT taste like salsa.  If I want salsa, I’ll eat some fucking salsa.  But gazpacho is something entirely different.  It’s cool, delicate, smooth and fresh tasting.  It’s light and clean but rich at the same time.  It is NOT salsa!

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To get the smoothest texture it’s best to peel the tomatoes.  If you have a Vitamix or some other mega blender then you might be able to get away with leaving the peels on.  But blanching the tomatoes kicks up their flavor ever so slightly so I think you should score, blanch, shock and peel them.

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Definitely, for the love of God, seed the tomatoes.  It’s not supposed to be crunchy or have crunchy bits in it.  You can seed the peeled tomatoes over a sieve placed over a bowl and squeeze as much juice out of the seeds as possible.  Then pour all of that juicy goodness into the blender or food processor.

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Yellow bell peppers are definitely sweeter than the green ones but I think that makes this gazpacho really interesting.  You don’t need to peel these but do seed them.

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I decided to go with a shallot in this recipe instead of the garlic that it normally calls for because garlic can sometimes overpower the other delicate flavors and I wanted this to keep it’s light sweetness.

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Persian cucumbers have these really tiny and soft seeds and that’s why I chose them.  I really didn’t feel like seeding a bunch of cucumbers.  They are also softer than other standard varieties of cucumbers which I thought would be good in a cold soup.  The next step is just put all this in a blender/Vitamix/food processor with olive oil and a dash of sherry vinegar and process until it’s creamy smooth.  Then chill and serve garnished with bell peppers of another color, diced cucumber, croutons, diced hard boiled egg or whatever else suits your fancy.  I kept it vegan and just topped it with some purple bell peppers, cucumber and olive oil.  Summer in a bowl!

 

 

 

Delightful Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 9 medium sized orange or yellow tomatoes
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 4-5 small Persian cucumbers
  • 2 purple, green or red bell peppers
  • 1 small shallot
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
  • Put a large pot of water on to boil, large enough to fit all the tomatoes so that they are covered.  If you don’t have a pot big enough, then you can do it in batches.
  • Get a large bowl and fill it with ice and water and set it on the counter near the pot.
  • Slice an “X” in the bottom of each tomato and then drop them into the boiling water.  Leave them in until the peel starts to curl away from the cuts.
  • Scoop each tomato out with a slotted spoon and put them in the ice water bath.  When they are cool to the touch, take them out of the water and peel off the skin.  It should come off very easily in big sheets.
  • Put a strainer or sieve over a bowl and then slice the tomatoes into quarters and, using your fingers, remove seeds from the tomatoes over the sieve.  Squeeze out any juice from the seeds through the sieve.  Discard the seeds and reserve the juices.
  • Peel 3 or 4 of the cucumbers and coarsely chop.
  • Seed the yellow bell peppers and coarsely chop.
  • Peel and quarter the shallot
  • Add the tomatoes, reserved juice, cucumbers, yellow bell pepper, shallot, 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and Sherry Vinegar to a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy.
  • Add salt to taste.   Chill in the fridge and serve cold topped with diced cucumber, other colors of bell pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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