There are as many variations of Spain’s iconic gazpacho as there are cooks making it. Here’s our version, perfect for summer ripe vegetables.
The heat wave continues, although the weather man promises some relief this weekend. In the meantime, it’s plain torture to heat up the kitchen in our un-air-conditioned apartment. When we do cook, it’s early in the day or late at night when the temperature drops. Sometimes we just make sandwiches.
As the temperature climbs, we find we’re being served gazpacho as the tapa with our glasses of wine. One in particular stood out, so Rick asked the bar owner about it. The “secret ingredient” was watermelon. It added a sweetness that contrasted with the sharpness of the garlic and the acidity from the tomatoes. We liked it, although to be fair, a friend of ours from Andalucia in the South of Spain commented “that’s not gazpacho, that’s juice.” (More for us, the way I look at it…)
Days like this call for gazpacho accompanied by a platter of savory cold cuts, cheese and pickles or whatever takes your fancy.
You’ll want the best tomatoes you can find to make gazpacho. We used the roma type on the recommendation of the lady at the farmer’s market (she, by the way, likes her gazpacho without cucumber). We also chose a beautiful red pepper instead of a green pepper because we wanted to maintain the red color when all the vegetables were blended.
The most difficult part was dealing with the watermelon. I didn’t want to blend the seeds so I ended up pushing the chopped up fruit through a colander placed over a bowl. Now I understand why I see the conical strainers called china caps (affiliate link) in just about every little store. It, or a food mill(affiliate link), would have come in handy for this step.
Once everything was cut up and blended it was just a matter of adjusting the seasoning to taste. We added more salt and also grated some fresh bread to give the gazpacho a little more body. Despite my worries that the garlic would take over, the gazpacho continued to taste fresh for a couple days, which was all it took for us to eat it.
- 8 roma tomatoes trimmed and roughly chopped (seed the tomatoes if there are a lot)
- ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped (add more if you like, but it may take over)
- about 2 cups crushed watermelon (just the juice and the flesh)
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil to taste (start with a 2 tablespoons and add more as desired)
- fresh bread crumbs as needed
- Combine all the vegetables and watermelon in a large mixing bowl and process with a hand held blender (a standard blender will also work).
- Taste and add salt and pepper and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- If the texture of the gazpacho seems thin to you, add some fresh bread crumbs to thicken it up.
- The gazpacho can be strained if there are a lot of seeds and bits of chopped up veg.
(Rick would like me to point out that I committed a grave error in not adding a basket of bread when I took the photos. Lo siento mucho 🙂 )
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