- 1 hothouse/English cucumber sliced in half lengthwise and seeded
- 2 small orange and yellow bell peppers or colour of your choice cored and seeded
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 24 ounces (700ml) tomato juice or passata 3 us cups
- ¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup (60ml) good olive oil
- ½ tablespoon kosher or flakey sea salt Use half this amount is using fine grain or table salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper optional
- Each vegetable is going into the food processor, it's important to process them separately because some are firmer than others. With that in mind, chop each into somewhat uniform hunks your food processor will handle.
- Process each vegetable (type) one at a time, adding it to your big bowl. I enjoy watching the layers build a rainbow here.
- Add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix all the ingredients, cover, and chill. I let it rest at least a few hours if not overnight.
This comes from Ina Garten’s first cookboook, “The Barefoot Contessa” with very little modification, mostly, it’s halved because the original is just too much. Living in DC, this was my every summer ritual, and it would last forever. I don’t know why I never scaled it down to this portion until now. I made it in the biggest bowl I had, and at least once per batch, a picnic meal would bee made of it. Bottle of wine, olive bread, some manchego cheese, perfection.
Then I moved to Scotland. We don’t quite have the summers for it, you have to move fast to make this happen, cos blink and gazpacho season is over. We didn’t have a food processor which really makes this such a quick meal to make, we had a mini chop, but I didn’t, as they say here, fancy that. How many batches to mini-chop up a hothouse cucumber, let a lone 4-8 tomatoes?
But I missed this recipe, and then FreeAgent, my employer, and COVID gave me this recipe back, without realising it. Our Christmas do was cancelled, and in it’s place, we got to pick gifts from a catalog – enter: the blender/food processor combo. Since January, I’ve made a lot of things that were a bit too bulky for the mini-chop Curried Roasted Carrot Dip anyone? Then, over the summer, we got 8 Fridays off, my first Friday was spent chasing down a rumor of where to buy “the good tomatoes” (The New Leaf Coop if you’re wondering) and then off on a bike ride with friends. Those tomatoes became my first batch of Gazpacho in 8 years, and it was as good as I remembered, they also became Pan Tomate (Tomato Bread). Those tomatoes were really good. They lasted better than I expected (I got really excited and bought more than I needed).
A note on tomatoes though: I get very precious about not refrigerating tomatoes, and I realised, making this, that for gazpacho, that’s a bit of wasted energy cos… it goes right in the fridge. So, mark my word, from here on out – good tomatoes that somehow find their way into the fridge (cringe), shall become gazpacho.