It's like drinking your salad!
July 22, 2009 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I need your best gazpacho recipes!

I've been jonesing for gazpacho for days. We went to this restaurant for dinner a couple weeks ago and I had an amazing gazpacho as a first course. I can't stop thinking about it. I've perused my standard go-to,, but I'm not sure which concoction to go with. When in doubt, I figure the Hivemind would know best.

Mefites, hit me with your best gazpacho recipes.

posted by dancinglamb to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 37 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Here's what I use (I don't really keep track of measurements, just keep adding ingredients till the blender is almost full)

- at least one big can of diced tomatoes
- 2 or 3 big cucumbers (peeled, seeded, and cubed)
- a green pepper (sliced)
- fresh cilantro (chopped)
- fresh parsley (chopped)
- garlic (chopped)
- onion (diced)
- a tablespoon or so of olive oil
- stale bread (torn up)
- a few ice cubes
- salt & pepper
- tabasco sauce (a few drops)
- lime juice (squeezed from a real lime, not store-bought)
- a couple avocados (sliced)

Blend everything but the avocados in a blender. Pour into bowls. Mix in some avocado slices, then add a few more on top.

One idea I've never tried but would really like to (inspired by Deborah Madison) is to do a "gazpacho party," centered around a huge bowl of gazpacho, with little bowls that have garnishes. In addition to the avocados, other garnishes could include croutons, sliced hard-boiled eggs, olive oil, herbs/spices, green pepper slices, cucumber cubes, etc.

Another idea: use yellow tomatoes (instead of red) and yellow peppers (instead of green) = yellow gazpacho.

Also, try Tastespotting for lots of unusual gazpachos (white, cantaloupe, strawberry, watermelon, etc.).
posted by Jaltcoh at 1:01 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Mine is:

5 pounds of tomatoes, minus seeds, etc
5 green peppers, cored
5 cucumbers, peeled
2 slices bread (any kind, I've used pita, wheat and sourdough)
1 onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 bottle tomato juice

I cut up everything and put it into the food processor in batches. I soak the bread in the juice first.

Once all the vegetables have been blended together, I add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the following to taste:
Lemon juice
Balsamic vinegar
Hot sauce
Stir everything together and chill for at least 4 hours before serving; I like it with olives and feta mixed in.
posted by lemonwheel at 1:31 PM on July 22, 2009

Best answer: I don't have a gazpacho recipe to share, but since you mentioned epicurious I thought I would offer up my so far nearly foolproof method for selecting from their many recipes. I just look for the one with the most reviewers saying they would make the recipe again. So, this gazpacho recipe, with 131 reviewers, 4 forks, and a 95% remake rating looks very promising.

By the way, thanks for linking to that restaurant. I live fairly nearby and it looks like one to try!
posted by katie at 2:20 PM on July 22, 2009

This gazpacho recipe is one that was recommended and I have always wanted to try it. Yum.

If you like drinking your salad, have you ever tried your hand at making posole? Oh. My. God. so. good. My neighbor gave me a lesson in making the authentic kind and it is the BOMB. I'm on my third (and last day) of eating it for every meal except breakfast, experimenting with the fresh garden add-on's, and it is still making me swoon with delight. I've been using shredded chicken that was grilled and marinated in lime, the hominy was made in a broth of chicken, as well as garlic and onion that was pulverized in the blender. Topped with crunchy fresh radish, shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro (I like it better than oregano), finely diced onion, and slices of fresh avocado. Crumble some tortilla chips and squeeze a lime over the top. Divine. My husband adds a roasted jalapeno hot sauce to his, but I am a wimp and love mine with the heat. We don't use tomatoes or cheese. It is a dish that screams SUMMER-YUM!
posted by jeanmari at 2:43 PM on July 22, 2009

Love mine WITHOUT the heat. And without proofreading, obvs.
posted by jeanmari at 2:44 PM on July 22, 2009

Response by poster: katie-Huntely Taverne was excellent. The service was *amazing*, the food fabulous and it was quite pretty inside. They're actually part of a group of restaurants that we've been wanting to try (Roots Steakhouse in Summit and Trap Rock Brewery in Berkeley Heights are also owned by the same people). So, we kind of flipped a coin to see which one we'd go to first. We were definitely happy with our dinner there and will go back without hesitation. If you go to the bottom of their home page, you can click on all their different restaurants to see what I mean.
posted by dancinglamb at 2:46 PM on July 22, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, and katie, that's my usual epicurious method, too! :) I just thought that somebody here might already have a tried and true kickass recipe.

jeanmarl- I've never heard of posole. Is it kind of like a soup or a stew or none of the above? It looks yum (though as much as I like the *look* of radishes, I don't like the taste of them).
posted by dancinglamb at 2:51 PM on July 22, 2009

I just go to the supermarket and get all the crunchy veggies - celery, carrots, radishes, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, serrano chile pepper, like that. I also get fresh tomatoes, the canned just didn't cut it. Chicken or beef broth, depending on how much body I wanted, and I use spicy hot V8 as the base - adds sodium, but I only prepare it once in a while.

I use my Nicer Dicer on the crunchy veggies (deseeding the tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers) and combine it all in a big bowl and get it nice and cold.

Season servings to taste with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, some kind of hot sauce, ground cayenne pepper, sea salt, freshly-ground pepper...makes me hungry just thinking about it!
posted by DandyRandy at 2:51 PM on July 22, 2009

Keeping in mind that we love garlic, we like ours with a lot of it. I find a good mix of about 75% of it roasted and 25% of it raw lends a really unique flavor.
posted by kiwi-epitome at 2:57 PM on July 22, 2009

I don't have a better gazpacho recipe than any suggested here, but I can suggest the single best gazpacho-topper ever: toasted pumpkin seeds. Buy some of these seeds raw, sprinkle a little water on them, and then some coarse salt. Put them on the tray in your toaster oven for maybe five minutes - until they just brown and puff up - and then toss them, still hot, onto the gazpacho which you've already placed in bowls. (And which is already garnished with some fresh parsley.) The little sizzle they make will bring you many "OOOH"s from guests, and the crunchy texture and heat make for a fantastic contrast with the cold soup.

Oh, I can also add that a few tomatillos blended together with the tomatoes and cukes really livens up any gazpacho.

Thanks for reminding me that it is indeed gazpacho season! Gotta make some this weekend.
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:59 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

dancinglamb, I don't usually like radishes either. But in this dish they are amazing. Raw and crunchy and cool and subtle. The dish is more like a stew/salad. And you can always leave them off. The loveliness of posole (or pozole) is that it you add whatever toppings of fresh veggies you have on hand to the base of hominy, onion, garlic and chicken (or pork) before topping with lime juice. Kind of like knowing how to make a basic risotto and then embellishing it as you wish. Here are some variations (and some drool-worthy pics):

Chicken Pozole from Simply Recipes

Pozole party! (Variations of the dish)

Easy Chicken Posole

One of the (many) wonderful things about this dish is that it tastes better made in advance and the base of it can last a few days in the fridge while you vary the toppings. I had never had hominy before and thought it was a funky type of creamy pasta before I found out what it was. Delicious!

I am not really an enthusiastic cook. But this was so easy to make that I was shocked. My neighbor is from Mexico and is an amazing cook. So when she served this to us one afternoon in her kitchen, I begged her to teach me how to make it. In about an hour (and thanks to Altavista Babelfish to help augment my poor Spanish), she had me cooking away. I have a group of friends who tend a veggie garden and she has offered to put together another cooking class for us in a neighborhood kitchen because this was so well received. A dish that is tasty, healthy and fun to make with friends. Let me know if you try it.
posted by jeanmari at 3:33 PM on July 22, 2009

I think the key to a good gazpacho is at least two different liquid acids--that is, splashes of two different types of vinegar, or one vinegar and lemon or lime juice. I do not know why this is, but it really makes a difference in my experience. Other than that: tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, onions and garlic. Olive oil, salt and pepper along with the acids as accents. The fresher it all is, the better it all is.
posted by OmieWise at 3:51 PM on July 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about a White Gazpacho?

Made with cucumbers instead of tomatoes. Probably not what you're looking for, but highly recommended.
posted by ShooBoo at 4:21 PM on July 22, 2009

Response by poster: ShooBoo- Looks interesting. I've had mango gazpacho at a wedding before that was outrageously good. I actually tracked down the caterer to get the recipe. I have to dig it out...

jeanmari- I will give the pozole a shot one day soon (I'm laid up from knee surgery, hence the need for quick blender recipes, where I can just provide direction to Mr. dancinglamb!).
posted by dancinglamb at 4:32 PM on July 22, 2009

Watermelon gazpacho is a summertime staple around here. Chunks of seedless watermelon, whirred in the blender (squished with a potato masher in a pinch), combined with diced red onion, minced jalapeno & cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt.

Chill and enjoy -- ideally on a raft trip down Hells Canyon, which is how I had it the first time. Between the 105 degree heat and the tiny flakes of ice suspended in mouth-twangling rose-red sweet yumminess, it was and is one of the best things I ever put in my mouth.
posted by ottereroticist at 5:35 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This is my favourite of all times.

posted by lottie at 5:38 PM on July 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

My secret weapon is to briefly roast the tomato, bell pepper, onion and garlic over a charcoal fire with a few wood chips. The smoky sweet character of the roasted veg is the perfect counterpoint to the basic gazpacho. I prefer not to use bread and use the least amount of tomato juice possible (I often substitute a bit of tomato soup instead of the juice). I'm kind of seat of the pants when it comes to recipes for fresh foods like this, but I'd say I use about 4 lbs of tomato, 2 red peppers, 1 seeded jalapeno and 1 large cucumber. For caloric reasons, I'd use less olive oil than people call for in the posted recipes, more like a tablespoon. You can always drizzle more on top if you like. If you end up with too much heat, you can fix it with a remarkably small amount of vinegar. I prefer to use a food processor to keep it somewhat chunky, but you can make it blender smooth with no loss of flavor.
posted by Lame_username at 11:47 AM on July 23, 2009

« Older Men's suit in Chicago   |   Where did this mystery song come from? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.