Friday, September 25, 2009
Farewell Fresh Tomatoes
Recently, my husband turned another year older. We decided it was a great excuse to have a party and invite our neighborhood friends. We are lucky to live in a subdivision filled with really great people and getting together is always a lot of fun! I decided to make it a “Strolling Cocktail Hour” with lots of bite size appetizers so people could easily mingle (although everyone stayed in the kitchen).
That night, the only appetizer I could eat without veering off my diet too wildly were the gazpacho shooters. These were itty-bitty martini glasses filled with gazpacho and each had a shrimp floating on top. The soup was really good and I ate a bowl of it during the evening (without the shrimp of course, but if I'm going to be honest, I did try other foods that night that were not on my diet, oops again). Anyway, the recipe called for olive oil, and as I tasted the gazpacho I wondered if its flavor really benefited from the addition of the oil.
So, as the tomatoes make their final curtain call for the season, I decided to come up with a recipe. A recipe that excluded oil and that I could be proud to serve to company. This is a solid start. The flavor is great, and you won’t miss the oil. My family likes it, I love it and I hope you will too.
Note: This is really good garnished with diced ripe avocado, but cilantro is great as well. If you like your gazpacho spicy, add ½ - 1 small, seeded and diced jalapeno!
4 ripe tomatoes
2 C tomato juice
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
½ C red onion, chopped
½ C red pepper, chopped
¼ C cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. cider vinegar (I use Bragg's)
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. kosher salt
¼ t. pepper
Avocado for garnish
Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Make an X with a knife on the bottom of each tomato. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water for about 15 – 30 seconds. Remove and put them into an ice bath until cool. Pat dry, peel, core, seed and chop. In a large mixing bowl put the tomatoes, tomato juice, cucumber, red onion, red pepper, cilantro, garlic, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Put half of the mixture into a blender and puree for 30 seconds. Pour back into the bowl with the remaining mixture. Mix well, cover and chill for at least 1 hour, best overnight. Garnish with avocado, cilantro or both.