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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Cool Take on a Hot Day

Gazpacho, like a classic chocolate chip cookie, doesn't have just one recipe.  There are a million variations and each has its own merits.

I usually go for a chunky gazpacho, like Ina Garten's, but recently my friend Deborah turned me on to Mario Batali's version.  I have to tell you, it's really good and very different from Ina's.

To make Mario's version, it helps to have a blender, preferably one with a couple of different settings, like a Vita Mix.  Not to worry if you don't have such fancy machinery.  You can use a less complicated blender or even a food processor to make this.  Just make sure to blend the ingredients really well so that the gazpacho is smooth.

There are a couple of things that makes this gazpacho so good.  The first is that there is stale bread blended in with the veggies.  The bread gives the soup a nice thickness.  I also like the addition of jalapenos.  They add just a little heat.  And blending the ice into the soup it a stroke of cooking genius.  The ice makes the gazpacho very cold, which is, as we all know, the perfect temperature for gazpacho.  I guess this explains why Mario is an Iron Chef and I am not.  It all comes down to the ice.

I don't have a Vita Mix, although I have been thinking that I may want to get one, so I used my Cuisinart and it worked just fine.  Either way, this is a very cool take on gazpacho.

Recipe:  Gazpacho
(Mario Batali)


5 very ripe beefsteak tomatoes, quartered-plus 1 cut into 1/4 inch dice, set aside
2 large english cucumbers, peeled, quartered- plus 1 cut into 1/4 inch dice, set aside
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, quartered- plus 1 cut into 1/4 inch dice, set aside
2 small jalapenos, seeded and stemmed
1 small red onion, peeled, quartered-plus 1 cut into 1/4 inch dice, set aside
2 slices day old white bread
3 bread slices cut into 1/2 inch croutons
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup water
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle
1 cups ice
salt and pepper to taste


1. Toast croutons in extra virgin olive oil in a pan till deep golden brown.

2. Peel the cucumber  and remove seeds.  Stem and seed the peppers.

3. Tear stale bread into pieces.

4. Place half of the prepared vegetables, bread, water, vinegar, oil and ice into blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

5. Pour the pureed soup into a pitcher and repeat with other half of ingredients.  Be sure and season each batch nicely with salt and freshly ground pepper.

6. Pour remaining soup into the pitcher, cover and refrigerate until very cold. Place garnishes in small bowls and refrigerate as well. When ready to enjoy, stir well with a spoon.

7. Serve in shallow bowls with the garnishes on the side  Drizzle each serving with a little more spanish extra virgin olive oil, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. We've had gazpacho here twice recently. The first was chunky; the current type totally blended. I prefer the crunchy, but I'll bet this tastes good. hmr