For many of us, the early days of September mean back-to-school. But on market time, this final stretch before autumn is the glorious window when the savory fruits (and vegetables) of summer are in full force, altogether, like a beautiful symphony. Translation: There is no better time to make a batch of gazpacho.
Everything -- except for the salt and vinegar -- is at the market and at its glorious seasonal peak. If you've never had the pleasure, gazpacho is a summer fruit and vegetable puree that really takes the edge off a hot day. Think of it as a homemade V-8 but ten times better. A recipe really isn't necessary; all you need is a blender -- and an ingredient list -- and you've got gazpacho in minutes. The recipe is meant to be improvised, so feel free to add or subtract based on what you like and what's on hand. After deciding on the lineup, it's a matter of a quick whiz in the blender or food processor. Gazpacho keeps for the better part of a week in an airtight container and the flavors improve with time -- this makes a great take-to-work lunch.
We are whizzing up a batch of gazpacho at the Farm Stand demo tent around 4 today; stop by, have a taste, then gather the fixins for your own batch!
Market Gazpacho Shopping List
For about 1 quart gazpacho:
- About 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and quartered (if you hate seeds, remove them)
- 1/2 to 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped roughly
- 1 medium-size sweet pepper of any color, seeded, deveined and chopped roughly
- 1/2 medium-size red or yellow (or sweet) onion, chopped roughly
- 1/2 jalapeno or chile pepper of choice, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
- Handful of fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
From your pantry:
Juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Blend all of the ingredients, in batches if necessary, until desired, then season with lemon, vinegar and salt. Serve at room temperature or chill for an hour to get good and cold.