“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies-“God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
After the summer solstice,
and especially after the Fourth of July,
my husband Mark was asking for gazpacho.
It’s what you need all summer long, especially when there’s a heat dome hanging over the country and even San Diego is humid and heavy.
So, when Barbara and David were coming in from Arizona (definitely one hot place!), one of the first entries on the Happy Hour menu were Gazpacho Shooters.
To my mind and taste (and my recipe), gazpacho should be an island holiday, aromatic with fresh herbs, seductive with fresh tomato fragrance, glistening with a beautiful olive oil. All the ingredients should be fresh and harmonious, smoothed into a compatible, thick liquid that sings its own cool breeze song, with no harsh notes.
It takes some balancing, whatever the quantities written down in the recipe, to blend the flavors of the the fresh ingredients, as they are now, in this moment. Buy the most fragrant you can find in the store (I never buy tomatoes without smelling them – if no fragrance, no sale.) Taste and balance, taste and season, maybe just a little. It takes some time and attention.
And, it must be well chilled. Get a bottle of tomato juice that contains only tomatoes and have it in the fridge for at least a day. Mix up your batch of gazpacho and tune it, then chill it for at least a good 4 – 6 hours before serving.
Anyway, that’s the way I like it. And, apparently so did the gang at the Happy Hour. Some soup even went home to go to the Hollywood Bowl with Russell and Emily the next day.
Everyone Else’s Gazpacho
Everyone seems to have been coming up with Gazpacho this summer, some with watermelon, some with extra cucumber, some quite classical.
Some (like the one that came out today from Ina Garten) is quite like mine, which, in turn, is based originally on the recipe in Molly Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook, one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. I’ve been cooking out of it since the 1970’s, so the cover’s come off and it is full of my notes and scribbles.
So try mine, or try others, see which you like the best… and keep cool.
- Ina Garten’s, Gazpacho
- Food network’s Green Gazpacho Soup Shooters
- Tyler Florence’s Watermelon Gazpacho
- Alton Brown’s Gazpacho
Or, just give me a day’s notice, and I’ll make some for you.