Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Chill Out with Blender Gazpacho

New York City is on it's fourth heatwave of the summer and heavy hot food does not sound appealing right now.  The farmers market had lovely fresh Jersey tomatoes, cucumbers and red bell peppers on Sunday so I stocked up.  I use them in salads, in juices, raw pastas, etc. but I had a craving for gazpacho.  Cool, fresh and delicious gazpacho is like the best of summer.

While I love gazpacho I'm not a fan of the super chunky kind, it feels like I'm spooning up salsa.  I puree mine in the blender and then add in some extra vegetables for something to chew.  If you happen to enjoy yours a bit chunky use your food processor instead.  Here's what you'll need:

4 large vine ripened tomatoes, cut into large pieces
3/4 of a large cucumber, roughly chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 cup of water

1/4 of a large cucumber, finely chopped
1 small zucchini, diced
Optional toppings:
cooked chilled shrimp, shells removed
lump crab meat, picked over to remove pieces of shell

Put the first 10 ingredients into your blender and whirl away.*  Pour into your bowl or storage container and stir in the finely chopped cucumber and zucchini.  Chill for 2 hours to let flavors meld together.

I like to top mine with avocado for garnish and I'll add some cooked chilled shrimp or lump crab meat to make it a meal.

*If your blender is not large enough to handle all of these ingredients at once do this in 2 batches and combine in a bowl

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