Salmorejo - Gazpacho in Cordova

Salmorejo – Gazpacho in Cordova

GAZPACHO

Can you say SUMMER?  Hell yes!  This is it, a cup of sunshine in a bowl!  Gazpacho is a  classic, Spanish tomato soup served cold.  It’s incredibly refreshing, raw, easy as pie and amazingly delicious.

Before old man Columbus brought the tomato back to Europe, Gazpacho was made with its other staple ingredients:  crusty old bread, olive oil, garlic, salt and vinegar.  Hmmm…maybe Columbus did some good after all?

My mother always added ice cubes to her gazpacho and I continue that tradition today.  I don’t know if I even have an exact recipe, this is a bit like making salsa…every time I do it, it’s a little bit different but always rocking good!

5 C of quartered fresh tomatoes
2-4 ice cubes
1/2 C stale, crusty bread crumbs
1 clove garlic
1 TBS sherry vinegar
1/2 C cucumbers, diced
1/2 C bell peppers, diced
1/2 C onions, diced
Extra virgin olive oil (LOTS–use more than you think you should!)
Salt and Pepper

Grab a blender or a food processor and put the first five ingredients in it and pulse it up.  I know some chefs who like to really puree this.  Me?  I like it to remain a bit of it’s chunkiness like a medium-ground salsa.

I love using heirloom tomatoes but anything will work…just as long as they are mega tasty!  As for the ice, if you have big honking cube you’ll only need 2 but if you’ve got smaller sized ice I’d jack it up to 4 cubes.  If you are opposed to ice, you can use a couple tablespoons of water.

Give this a taste.  You digging it?  I usually add the juice of a half a lemon and a generous amount of olive oil…I dunno, maybe a half cup?  If I’m feeling really Spanish I’ll go with a full cup or even more–yes, the Spanish really do LOVE the oliva. and some big pinches of salt and pepper.  I’m putting my trust and faith in you to taste this and adjust the seasonings your way.  You can do it!

My favorite way to serve gazpacho is to have little bowls of the diced cucumbers, bell peppers (use red or yellow ones) and onions.  I’ll also pass around a bottle of good finishing olive oil.  My guests can then choose how much or how little they want to float on top…you know, there’s always someone who doesn’t like raw onions!  Doing this makes the food and the meal more interactive, more hands on and fun.  I love it when people play with their food!

Hopefully you’ll love this so much it’ll become part of your summer repertoire.  It’s like the first snow of the season for me…every summer I celebrate the first gazpacho of the year and then I cry over my bowl of the last one in the autumn.

Serves six, with leftovers!