Bon Appétit (June 2009)
We're absolutely thrilled to be featured in today's Washington Post story about canning.
We loved talking about our experience canning tomatoes, but when they told us they'd like to come over and photograph us while we cooked a dish that used our canned tomatoes, we got a bit nervous.
What to make?! In front of an audience?!
We thought about revisiting an old favorite, like Baked Eggs in Tomato-Parmesan Sauce or Creamy Tomato Sauce, but couldn't bring ourselves to do that. The Washington Post was coming over! So we had to make a new dish.
After spotting this Tomato-Cucumber Gazpacho, we knew we had a winner.
Bon Appétit's recipe for gazpacho calls for fresh tomatoes. Since last summer, though, we've had great success subbing in our canned tomatoes in many recipes that call for fresh. Here, our tomatoes are blended with cucumber, vegetable juice, basil, red onion and garlic. A bit of mayonnaise helps thicken the soup while anchovy paste adds flavor.
The magazine suggests store-bought Parmesan croutons as a garnish for the gazpacho. Because we loved the grilled crouton we made for Grilled Fresh Pea and Buttermilk Soup, we opted to do the same thing here, slicing some bread, brushing it with oil, and grilling it very briefly, about a minute on each side. We then cut the bread into cubes, sprinkled it with a bit of Parmesan and sauteed it very briefly in olive oil so that the cheese would melt.
The final result is just about the freshest darn tasting soup we've ever had. Of course gazpacho is an ideal summer meal -- since there's nothing to cook, there's nothing to heat up your kitchen. And it's super simple to make, since you're essentially just blending the raw ingredients together.
One change we made: The recipe calls for at least six hours of cooling time, in two intervals. We just made the soup in one step and ate it immediately. We're sure it's better if you let the flavors set for a while, but when you're trying to keep it simple, why wait?
All in all, a fantastic summer soup and a good use of our canned tomatoes. It's enough to make us eager to can some more later this summer!
6 first-course servings
* 5 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 6 medium)
* 3 cups tomato-based vegetable juice
* 2 1/4 cups chopped English hothouse cucumber (from 1 large), divided
* 1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 small), divided
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil plus additional for garnish
* 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
* 3 small garlic cloves, peeled
* 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
* Purchased Parmesan croutons (optional; for garnish)
Working in 2 batches, puree chopped tomatoes, vegetable juice, 1 1/4 cups chopped cucumber, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons chopped basil, red wine vinegar, mayonnaise, garlic, and anchovy paste in blender until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Season gazpacho to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 1 day.
Stir remaining 1 cup chopped cucumber and 1/2 cup chopped red onion into gazpacho. Refrigerate 2 hours.
Divide gazpacho evenly among bowls. Garnish with chopped basil and Parmesan croutons, if desired.