I made a good “deal” today.
I scored two serious bags of farm fresh tomatoes at the farmers market in exchange for two of my Organic Blue Cornmeal Pancake and Waffle Mixes, which are equal parts delicious and gluten-free.
The best part of the deal is that we were both giddy with our barter.
John, the farmers I exchanged goods with, was thrilled because he has celiac disease and it’s been 20 years since he’d eaten a pancake. Poor guy, right? We gave out samples of the pancakes at Saturday’s market and David must have made John eight which he happily devoured and savored. It was a beautiful sight…as he put a dollop of honey on each and every little bite and popped them in his mouth.
I, of course, have been waiting patiently for the last two weeks since the tomatoes have shown their face at the market in the hope I could get some “seconds” to make gazpacho and today was my lucky day.
Shhh, don’t tell anyone but seconds are the best part of a farmers market.
These are the tomatoes that might be a little too ripe to sell to customers. And the farmers can’t give them away, so you can buy a big bag for next to nothing.
But when you plan on making tons of tomato sauce to freeze for cold winter nights when there’s not a tomato to be found or gazpacho to devour right now, what a tomato looks like has no real meaning. You can cut away any rotten part that you don’t want to use. It’s a perfect find.
First on my list is gazpacho. An essential flavor of summer.
And I do make a mean gazpacho. It’s a recipe I found years ago that Thomas Keller created and I have tweaked a bit. That said, you know it’s got to be fabulous. I mean it being a Thomas Keller recipe, of course.
What I’ll do with the bag of tomatoes that aren’t seconds, I am not yet sure. But I am thinking a few bowls of cold gazpacho will be just the inspiration I need. I also got a huge bag of peaches, some of which are seconds, and just wait until you see what I do with these.
This is the part of summer I love.
This is a great way to enjoy the bounty of summer. It's also a great way to clean out the veggie drawer in the fridge, as I tend to be very flexible with this recipe…if I have radishes that need to be used, I will throw them in, too...whatever you have that you think will work, add it! And the gazpacho gets better with time, so it's best to make it the day before you want to eat it. Be sure and add a generous splash of sherry vinegar to each bowl when serving. It's essential and elevates this simple soup to new heights.
- 1 cup chopped red onions yellow onion or sweet Walla Walla, etc.
- 1 cup chopped green red and/or yellow bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped English cucumber seeded (I also like to use the pickling cucumbers from the farmers market and do not seed them)
- 1 cup carrots peeled, quartered and chopped
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes you can add up to five cups—I just use what I have
- 1 cup chopped celery I love to use the hearts as well!
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- A few grinds of fresh black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or just a few glugs
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 cups tomato juice low sodium (I generally add just enough to cover the tomatoes and veggies)
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme and some chopped parsley
- A splash of EVOO sherry vinegar and freshly chopped herbs (I like to use fresh basil and chives) when serving...while this is optional, I think the sherry vinegar makes this soup extra special!
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl or other container and stir until combined. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight so the flavors meld.
The next day, remove the thyme stems and leave the thyme and puree all the ingredients in a blender until the gazpacho is smooth, or almost smooth—I like to keep just a little texture in it, which means I will generally puree about ¾ of the gazpacho and leave the rest as is.
Refrigerate the gazpacho until ready to serve. Serve with a glug of EVOO, a splash of sherry vinegar and some fresh herbs for a perfect combination of flavors.
You can also top the gazpacho with boiled shrimp, diced avocado, lump crab meat, chopped tomatoes, a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream and even croutons for additional texture and color.