Authentic Gazpacho from Andalucia
I learned this recipe from a friend from Seville, who loves his traditional culture and insists on authenticity. No celery, no broth, no other stuff allowed. NO “inventing” vegetarian Gazpacho, because it already is. (He was fiercely adamant about this, really got his dander up.) The important thing, according to Nazario’s recipe, is to add the white stuff, green stuff, then red stuff. So I’ve been faithfully following his instructions for the last 25 years, because, well, why mess with a classic from a land with sweltering summers? It’s hard to improve on something that is so refreshing and energizing, doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and wakes up a heat-stifled appetite. But, of course you can adjust garlic, onion and vinegar amounts to your preferred tastes. I hope it helps you get through the coming hot weather! Why this is healthy: Fresh, raw, hydrating, summer vegetables with tons of vitamin A (carotenoids) and vitamin C, as well as plenty of garlic and onion benefits. Why this tastes great: Garlic zing, luscious tomatoes, and the coolness of peppers and cucumbers! Why this is easy: It's dinner from a blender - no cooking! Season: Summer
1 thick slice of day-old bread (like a baguette, a whole wheat or gluten free substitute), torn into chunks 3-5 cloves garlic (or more to taste) 1/4 cup minced onion 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cucumber, peeled and finely chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1/4 cup olive oil
8 large tomatoes - peeled and chopped 1/4 cup wine vinegar
6 cups cold water
Directions: Put the bread, garlic, onion and salt in a blender and add a bit of water to wet the bread. Pulse the mixture so it chops, not too fine. Add the cucumber, green pepper and olive oil. Pulse again. Add tomatoes, and finally vinegar. Blend to desired consistency. Adjust vinegar and salt to taste. Garnish with minced parsley, if you like.
Tip for peeling tomatoes: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with cold water and ice. Drop tomatoes in boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then transfer to the ice water. Peel will come right off!