Every summer I anxiously await the first good tomatoes to come into the market so I can make gazpacho. For someone who hated tomatoes for the majority of her life, I really love them now, especially in gazpacho. It's refreshing, spicy, light and chock full of fresh vegetables; in essence, the perfect summer meal! Since we're starting to see good tomatoes around these parts, I made my first batch this evening to take for lunch this week. I started with Ina Garten's recipe found here and added some zip to it.
Cast of Characters:
- 4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 cucumber, roughly chopped
- 3 cups of tomato juice
- 1/4 cup of white vinegar
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- a dash or two of hot sauce
1) Roughly chop all of your vegetables. Place them in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add them to a large mixing bowl.
2) Stir in the tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I used low sodium tomato juice, but if you use regular tomato juice, be careful with the amount of salt you add.
3) If you like spice, stir in some hot sauce. I like Crystal from Louisiana as it has a smoky taste.
4) Chill for at least one hour before eating. I prefer to let it sit overnight so the flavors can get real friendly with one another. Serve with chopped cilantro, avocado slices, grilled shrimp or some toasted bread.
Delicious and nutritious! What do you look forward to eating every summer?