Heirloom tomato gazpacho

If you are only going to eat chocolate occasionally, eat the very best quality chocolate you can find. The same holds true for gazpacho. The quality and flavor of heirloom tomatoes is critical for this week's recipe. They come in many colors, from deep purple to bright yellow. Taste test them at your market. Visualize a chilled, spicy and chunky gazpacho that almost makes a meal in a bowl. Most recipes use tomato juice. This recipe, modified from Epicurious.com, recommends squishing the vegetables with your fingers. While it was kind of fun for a while, a food processor did a better job than my fingers on the firmer chunks. The original recipe calls for a red and yellow bell pepper. They aren't yet in season at our market so I used bottled roasted red peppers. The "heat" can be varied to taste. I might use jalapeño Tabasco next time. The flavors and texture make this a wonderfully complex and tasty offering.

Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 6 large heirloom tomatoes of all colors, seeded and diced into 1/4" pieces (reserve the seeds and liquid)
  • 1 red onion, diced 1/4"
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced 1/4"
  • 2 roasted red peppers, diced 1/4"
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 Tbsp Tabasco®
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Directions

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, seeds, liquid, onion, cucumber and peppers. Add cilantro, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and Tabasco®. Season with salt and pepper. Here's where I tried squishing the ingredients, bailed out, and used the food processor to blend about 2/3 of the vegetables in batches. It still made a very chunky soup. Stir in the oil a little at a time, tasting as you go. Chill for at least an hour. Drizzle about 1 Tbsp of balsamic vinegar per serving and stir in.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD

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