Spanish Style Gazpacho and Manchego Crostini

IMG_0154Today I decided to try a recipe for “really the best gazpacho ever” shared a while ago by a reader.

My reason for trying it today was that I harvested a basket of ripe tomatoes with spots or cracks and had to do something with them, and quick.  So I cut bad parts off and plugged in my blender. I blended the tomatoes with red onion, cucumber, a Hungarian pepper from my garden, a bit of sherry vinegar, garlic, salt and a decent amount of olive oil. The recipe called for straining afterwards, but you know what? I had a big bowl of it straight from the blender, sans straining. Addictively good.

You could do either, leave as is or strain for an elegant presentation. 

Now truth be told, I have a packed file of gazpacho recipes. This one, though, is my newest fave. A smooth Spanish style gazpacho, easy and so fast. 

The bonus? It uses those late summer, less than perfect, dead ripe veggies. 

Make this gazpacho! Let me know how you like it, OK?

Late summer gazpacho aka best gazpacho

Originally from Julia Moskin, New York Times. Here’s my adaptation. As always, go to taste. 

Ingredients

A good 2 pounds red or combo of ripe tomatoes, cored and chunked up- I used red, yellow, and grape

1 Cubanelle or sweet banana pepper or about half of a sweet bell, seeded and chunked- I used a sweet Hungarian banana pepper

1 cucumber, about 8” long, peeled and chunked

1/3 to 1/2 cup red or mild onion, chunked (careful, here, you can always add more but you can’t take away…).

1 nice teaspoon garlic/1 large clove

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar 

Salt – I used 1-1/2 teaspoons

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or to taste, plus extra to drizzle

Instructions

Put everything but vinegar, salt and oil in blender and blend on high until very smooth. With motor running, add vinegar and salt. 

Slowly pour in oil and blend until everything is emulsified and again, smooth. It will be the thickness of salad dressing. If a bit watery, add a little more oil until it’s creamy the way you like it.

Now you can either strain it all through strainer or food mill, making sure you press hard on solids, or leave as is, or just strain some of it. 

For a silky smooth soup, you should strain it all.

Chill about 6 hours or overnight. 

To serve: Adjust seasonings. If too thick, add a bit of ice water.
Serve with drizzle of oil.

Serve as appetizer or first course in shot or small glasses or as an entre in a bowl. 

Try my garlic crostini alongside.

Substitute for sherry vinegar

Try red wine vinegar with maybe a tad of sugar, since sherry vinegar has a sweeter flavor profile.

Rita’s garlic crostini 

Serve alongside the gazpacho.

Rub a clove of garlic on thick baguette slices. Drizzle with olive oil. 

Sprinkle with shredded Manchego, Parmesan, or leave plain. 

Run under broiler.

 

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