If you’re expecting an abundance of tomatoes, let me suggest an easy way to them up: gazpacho.
Gazpacho is a traditional dish from the Andalusia region of southern Spain. Cities in the area, including Cordoba and Seville. The average summer temperatures near 100 degrees Farenheit, so it’s no wonder locals have their pulse on what makes a refreshing but nutritious summer meal.
The vegetable-based, soup-like dish is sometimes unappetizingly referred to as a “liquid salad” or “cold soup,” but don’t let that scare you. The flavors fall somewhere between tangy vegetable juice, veggie soup and Mexican salsa, but it’s a unique dish all on its own, that in no way begs to be warmed.
When your fruit baskets start filling with an excess tomato crop, try whipping up a batch of gazpacho and serving with a loaf of garlic bread. You’ll keep yourself, or your family, full, cool and satisfied.
SUMMER TOMATO, PEACH, JALAPENO GAZPACHO
6-7 large tomatoes (any kind or an assortment is fine too), seeds removed and chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, roasted
2 medium cucumbers, chopped
2 peaches, pitted and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil (for roasting pepper)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3/4 cup water
Roast jalapeno pepper by slicing lengthwise and removing stem and seeds. On a foil-lined baking sheet, place peppers skin side up and lightly brush with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Bake in oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Skins should be dark and blistering. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Remove skins and discard. Finely chop pepper and set aside.
In a food processor or blender, add water, 2 tablespoons olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and 8 basil leaves. Then add half of the tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 peach and half of the pepper. Blend all ingredients until smooth, but some pieces can remain.
Pour mixture into medium to large bowl.
Add the remaining cucumber, tomato, jalapeno and peach pieces (leaving just a bit for garnish if desired). Season with salt and stir well. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
Garnish with remaining basil pieces and serve cold.