Monday, September 6, 2010

Gazpacho for Grownups

The tomatoes are finally ripe here in Yankee Land.  I think I understand why eating green tomatoes is such a Southern thing.  Up here you only get one big crop that takes forever to ripen... eating any before they're ready is just wasteful.

I bought ~8 pounds of heirlooms at the farmers' market this week and we've been eating them in:
in paella, with our last chunk of cured venison sausage
as a raw salad, with herbs from the garden
as bruschetta, with homemade rosemary bread
with hummus plates, which reminds me I need to ask JG if I can post his recipe
stuffed full of taggelio (a riff on these), which was fine, but not amazing
and -- my favorite-- as light gazpacho, with ceviched bay scallops added to the individual soup bowls.
[The scallops were actually too tender and mild to add interest, but the soup was still fantastic.]

A couple days later I was sipping a little of the leftover gazpacho straight from the storage container. [It was cold and I was thirsty; don't tell JG.] It was just a little spicy from the poblano I'd used in lieu of bell pepper and it was so refreshing to drink! It occurred to me that the only thing that would make it better [like so many things] was a shot of alcohol, using the gazpacho as a base like a lighter alternative to a bloody Mary.

I mixed 2 parts gazpacho to 1 part vodka [I'm keen on Tito's], shook it with a little ice, and garnished with a pick-full of olives and a big fat caper berry... and it was sublime.   It was also little dangerous, because it goes down so very, very nicely.  The flavors of the pepper and cucumber were present without asserting themselves and the olives and made a nice brine-y counterpoint.  [I also salted the glass rim, but I'm not sure it's necessary.]

I kept calling it a gazpacho martini, which I know is a misnomer as it contains neither gin nor vermouth; I guess it's just a "gazpocktail", which doesn't sound nearly refined enough for its sophisticated flavor. Whatever its name, it'll definitely be the belle of my next brunch.

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