Heirloom Tomato and Chunky Garden Vegetables in a Pool of Gazpacho
Gazpacho originated in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía. It is often referred to as a liquid salad. Best served very cold on hot summer days but then tasty enough to enjoy whenever fresh ripe heirloom tomatoes are available.
In this version, gazpacho becomes almost sauce-like sporting beautiful and tasty heirloom tomatoes and other chunky garden vegetables. Classically it is thickened with stale bread which is absent for a lighter version. Gazpacho can be made several days ahead but needs at least six hours for the flavors to mingle. Make it on the weekend and enjoy a quick, flavorsome, light weeknight dinner. This would also make a great first course accompanying a barbeque or just a light refreshing summer supper.
4 to 6 servings
1 pound ripe beefsteak tomatoes (about 2 cups)
½ small red onion, roughly cut into chunks (about ¾ cup)
½ medium green pepper, cored, seeded, roughly cut into chunks (about ¾ cup)
½ cucumber (about 6 to 7 inches long), peeled, roughly cut into chunks (about ¾ cup)
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon tarragon leaves
1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 or 2 heirloom tomatoes, cored, ½ inch chunks
½ small red onion, small diced
½ small green pepper, small diced
½ cucumber, peeled, ½ inch chunks
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 to ½ teaspoon finishing flake salt like Maldon (to taste)
1. Place the gazpacho beefsteak tomatoes, onion, pepper, cucumber, garlic, tarragon leaves, vinegar, salt, and cayenne in a blender. Blend at high speed until very smooth. Scrape down the sides occasionally. Slowly drizzle in one-fourth cup of olive oil. Taste, Think, Transform with salt and/or vinegar.
2. Strain the mixture through a strainer or food mill. Discard the solids. Chill at least six hours or overnight.
3. Pour the gazpacho into four soup plate bowls. Distribute the heirloom tomato chunks, red onion, green peppers, and cucumbers on top of the soup. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with the flake salt to taste and serve cold.