Sadly, one of my favorite local joints recently charged me $6 for the pleasure of a cup of really poorly made gazpacho… gazpacho with far too much raw onion and nearly no spice or salt.
The worst part was, it just tasted so flat and lifeless. It needed a shot of acid. It came with a little sprinkle of chives, but no cracker, no toast tip. Alas! I knew I would have been better off making it myself.
Above you see the gazpacho I was hoping for. Nicely spiced, mouth-wateringly zesty, with rich tomato flavor and hints of celery, cucumber and fresh jalapeño.
All it took was a quick trip to the farmers’ market and a spin through the blender. Some stuff out of the pantry… salt, pepper, a shot of vinegar or lemon juice… Adjust the seasoning and add a couple slices of fresh-baked garlic cheese bread on the side. Easy lunch.
Simple Summer Tomato Gazpacho
- 2 cups ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup green or yellow pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp garlic (about 2 small or 1 large clove)
- 1 cup Kirby cucumber, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp jalapeño pepper, seeds removed (optional)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or 1/2 slice stale bread, torn to pieces
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or 1/2 tsp fresh oregano)
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
- Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a blender or food processor, chop the tomatoes, peppers, garlic, cucumber and jalapeño, if using.
- Add the breadcrumbs or pieces, tomato juice and olive oil. Pulse to incorporate.
- Stir in the chopped cilantro, oregano and Worcestershire.
- Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to adjust to your desired flavor.
- Chill for at least three hours (or overnight).
- Serve chilled or at room temperature. Garnish, if desired (I like chopped cilantro, 1/2” cubes of cucumber or tomato, sliced green onions and/or cubed avocado). It’s great with chewy baguette slices and a side salad.
As I mentioned, I served mine with a garlic cheese bread I picked up at the farmers’ market, but you can go with croutons, baguette or whichever loaf you love.
Good. Cheap. Easy! There’s really no need to pay for a substandard version.