Summer is finally here! Something about life seems easier, including the ever present question, “What’s for dinner?” As the grill wafts its enticing aroma, I love to put my vodka/soda/ lime in my cute handblown glass, pop on some Maroon5, sit on the back step by my hydrangea and pretend I am on Cape Cod. For me, that is summer bliss.
Summer is also the time when I allow myself a thoughtful, indulgent lunch. Last weekend in Austin, I took myself out and reveled in the most flavorful tomato Gazpacho loaded with lumps of crabmeat. Accompanied by a simple piece of toasted bread and pungent cheese, a thick rich crab cake with grilled leeks and balsamic glaze and a glass of Cava, I giggled with delight and gratitude. It turned my tried, worn out spirit around and inspired me.
It also got me thinking about how much I like all kinds of Gazpacho and have decided The Mindfull Creative would take the next few weeks, and in the spirit of sharing finds I love, offer a different Gazpacho recipe on MindFULL Mondays.
Below is the first, simple vegetable version. It’s from The Barefoot Contessa (www.barefootcontessa.com). Love her and it!
1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 plum tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!
After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.