Friday, October 13, 2006

Quick and easy summer snack - Gazpacho

With Melbourne's soaring temperatures reaching record highs, all day yesterday I was looking forward to getting home and whipping up a batch of this refreshing and delicious gazpacho.

This recipe incorporates a couple a couple of my favourite kitchen timesavers (click on links to view detailed blog entries):

Kitchen Timesaver #1 - Braun Multiquick Hand Blender & attachments
Kitchen Timesaver #2 - Smoked Paprika

The first time I made gazpacho, I dutifully roasted the smoky capsicum, then picked and rubbed to remove the blackened skin - a tedious, time-consuming and messy job. Adding a pinch of smoked paprika delivers convincing and beautifully mellow smoky-charred notes, without all the hassle.

Gazpacho Recipe
  • 4 med tomatoes, stems and cores removed
  • 2 lebanese cucumbers, stems removed
  • 1 red capsicum, stem, seeds and whitish fin membranes removed
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 loaf sour dough (approx 150g), crusts removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/5 cup sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup water (or a little more if you prefer a thinner consistency)
  • 1/3 tsp smoked paprika
  • tabasco to taste (I use 3 good shakes)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cut vegetables and bread into pieces 1-2inches.
  2. Put everything into a large blender and process on high speed until smooth enough for your taste. I like my gazpacho smoothish with a bit of texture and visible green and red specs
  3. That's it! Pop it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours to allow the bread to soften completely and for all the flavours to mellow and blend. You may like to stir though more water as gazpacho tends to thicken on standing.
Gazpacho is traditionally served in a bowl with ice cubes and finely diced cucumber, capsicum and/or crouton garnish. However I like to serve in chunky wine glasses and drink it as a filling and refreshing liquid snack.
This recipe makes about 4 serves (although I am quite capable of drinking the entire quantity over a 24 hour period)

Variations writes "There are about as many gazpacho recipes as there are Spanish cooks." Here are some variations:
  • All quantities are in the above recipe are approximate - increase or decrease according to taste or availability.
  • You can use tomato juice instead of fresh tomatoes.
  • Additional/alternative ingredients include: chicken stock instead of water; green capsicum; red onion; celery; yellow tomatoes.
  • Add sherry, chicken stock or vodka.
  • Diced serrano ham or hard boiled egg garnish.



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