Gazpacho!

gazpacho ingredients

Many years ago I was having lunch at a San Diego restaurant with a friend. Gazpacho was one of the few vegan items on the menu and we both ordered it. My friend is from Spain and gave me his critique of the restaurant’s version; he later showed me how he makes it. I re-created his version from memory, so it may not be quite the same, but everyone who tries it agrees that it’s fabulous.

I’d never really thought about making gazpacho before my friend showed me his recipe, but this flavorful blend of tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and spices has been a menu staple since then. Gazpacho recipes vary wildly, with some using stale bread and others using an overload of olive oil. I love this recipe because it’s simple and really highlights the fresh flavors of the vegetables. (Yes, I know that technically tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers are fruits, but who thinks of them that way?!)

I suppose most food bloggers would post a recipe like this at the height of summer, when tomatoes are at their peak. Here in Guatemala, the land of eternal spring, and we enjoy this gazpacho year round.

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings

Ingredients

  • 8 roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1/2 medium onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 Tbl balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbl cilantro (unless you hate cilantro, then leave it out)
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped (optional)
Gazpacho garnished with avocado and cilantro
Gazpacho garnished with avocado and cilantro

Method

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with cilantro and chopped avocado.

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