The truth is, I had my bags packed and waiting by the door when I decided to take some quick photos of this gazpacho (no flair, just like the recipe!). We’d bought all this beautiful produce from the Baltimore Farmer’s Market Sunday morning when I remembered we were heading to Pittsburgh the next day to see my brother’s art displayed in his first gallery opening. In an effort not to let our glorious heirloom tomatoes + the BEST cucumber I’ve ever tasted (from Tomato’s Etc. Farm) go to waste… AND also not waste time cooking (since we really needed to hit the road) I was like DUH, gazpacho! We actually poured it into glasses to drink in the car. And I wasn’t planning on sharing the recipe with you at all. But then I tasted it and I was like OH MAN, this has to be shared. It is so freaking easy, simple, and amazingly delicious. Thus, the simple photos – which I like to think emulate the recipe.
There are 3 essentials to a great gazpacho:
- High Quality, Fresh Produce – the better your inputs, the better your outputs. You want juicy, perfectly ripe tomatoes for this Spanish specialty. Those things shipped from Mexico that were picked last week and “ripened” by exposure to gas… no way, don’t even try to make good gazpacho with those – you’d need a ton of tomato juice to make that work and then what’s the point? A nice salad cucumber is also recommended, something with thin skins you can just sink your teeth into, with
- Oil & Vinegar – the red wine vinegar is the flavor maker here, it balances the sweetness from your incredibly ripe tomatoes and adds extra acidity that really gives your gazpacho that punch, sending it over the edge. The olive oil simultaneously mellows out the gazpacho, balancing the sweet & sour AND adds a smoothness that you’d otherwise be missing.
- Salt – #yes. Salt is essential for flavoring the gazpacho. Not too much though.
This easy gazpacho has ALL THREE. Obviously. Plus it’s simple as can be, and provides the perfect base for fun twists. Add jalapeños or serrano peppers for a kick, chipotles for smokiness, celery for a bloody mary effect, or basil for added herbiness.
BY THE WAY, The art show was a smash. Alex had 6 pieces on display – a mix of charcoal, pen & ink, and pastels. 3 of the original pieces were for sale as well as prints of 5. I’m hoping to set up a website for him in the next month so look out for links and pics!
- 2 LARGE Tomatoes, cored & chopped
- 1 Cucumber, ends removed & chopped
- 1 Green Pepper, de-seeded & chopped
- ½ Small Onion, peeled & chopped
- 4 Cloves Garlic, peeled
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- ¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
- Salt, to taste
- Reserve 2 tablespoons each of cucumber, pepper, onion & tomato. Dice and cover. Store in refrigerator.
- Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend on high until smooth. About 30 seconds in a Vitamix, probably longer in your average blender.
- Best if chilled for at least an hour before serving.
- Pour into bowls and sprinkle the top with reserved diced vegetables for texture and added flavor.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Re-blend, if necessary, before servings.
For a kick, throw in 1 jalapeño - no dicing or deseeding necessary OR vinegar-based hot sauce to taste (Tabasco, Crystal, etc.).