On Sunday, it was one of those stifling, hot days — 98, hazy and humid — when D.C. felt like a beach town without the ocean. It made me shift from enjoying the beginning of fall back to tolerating the hot, tired summer.
Earlier in the day, I had picked up some fresh vegetables at the farmers market. Since I didn’t want to cook, I decided to make gazpacho. A little chopping and food processing is all it would take — quick, easy, cooling and refreshing.
Here’s how I made it:
I soaked a couple of pieces of wheat baguette (no crust) in a cup of water for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, I roughly chopped and trimmed a pound and a half of yellow tomatoes.
Next, I peeled and chopped half a large English cucumber.
Then, I chopped half a large red bell peppper.
I wanted to add garlic, but didn’t want it to dominate the gazpacho. So I did something I’d seen Daniel Bouloud do to mellow garlic for aioli.
I peeled two cloves of garlic,
put them in a small saucepan and added just enough water to cover them.
I brought the water to a simmer, then poured off the water, leaving the garlic behind. I added more water and repeated that process two more times. I put the tamed garlic in the food processor along with the chopped vegetables and a couple of glugs of red wine vinegar.
I seasoned it all with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I added the soaking bread (and half the water) to the processor,
and pureed until smooth.
As the gazpacho was processing I drizzled in a couple of glugs of extra virgin olive oil.
The great thing about gazpacho is how hard it is to get wrong. Just taste it and add more salt, pepper, vinegar, olive oil or water to change its taste and consistency at the end.
It tastes best after at least an hour in the refrigerator as it chills and all of the flavors blend and intensify. This one had a beautiful yellow color from the yellow tomatoes, and a subtle, round sweet garlic flavor.
Recipe: Yellow Gazpacho (Cookthink)