With tomatoes in season and beautifully ripe, needless to say we feature them on the daily menu with pleasure. Tomato salads, tomato sauces, bruschetta with tomatoes and even fried green tomatoes get reinvented in one delish dish after another.
This past week we had company and I knew that one of our guests loved a good gazpacho. I was inspired to prepare a couple of jars of this chilled soup to have available as an impromptu lunch on the patio during their visit. Gazpacho tastes better if it sits a day or so in the fridge, allowing the flavours to meld, so I keep it in a mason jar, ready to be poured into glass bowls at a moment’s notice.
I used large round field tomatoes that are vine ripe and sweet. You can make it with other varieties but the caveat is that they must be fully ripe field tomatoes for best flavour. For the juice you can use store bought tomato juice of the purest variety you can find, and if you have a lot of tomatoes at your disposal, make you own tomato juice for the gazpacho.
We like a little texture in our gazpacho so I mix the ingredients separately in a food processor until finely chopped but not pureed, then combine them in a bowl, add tomato juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour it into a mason jar to be kept in the fridge until needed.
When serving, I may add shredded basil leaves or cilantro and a squeeze of lemon to liven things up.
I can safely say that if you come to my house in tomato season you are likely to find a jar or two of gazpacho in the fridge, beautifully red with specs of green throughout.
Try it, you’ll like it.
4 field tomatoes, vine ripe for best flavour.
3 summer cucumbers, washed but not peeled
1 large red pepper, seeds removed
1 small red onion
1 jalapeno, seeded (or not)
2 garlic cloves
3-4 cups tomato juice, low salt
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
Cut each of the vegetables into chunks and one at a time process in a food processor until chopped but not pureed. You can combine the onion, garlic and jalapeno and chop them together.
After you process each of the vegetables in the processor combine them in a bowl.
Add the tomato juice to the consistency you prefer. Exact amount depends on how juicy were your vegetables.
Add vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in glass bowls and garnish with ribboned basil or chopped parsley and a wedge of lemon.