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Author Notes: This is a version of traditional gazbacho to which I’ve given the L.A. treatment. For one thing it’s spicier than a true Spanish gazbacho, but it’s still refreshing on a hot summer day outdoors. If you are taking it on a picnic be sure you keep it thoroughly chilled. —pierino
- 2 pounds large red tomatoes (about 4), peeled.
- 1 cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 teaspoon pimenton ahumado (smoked Spanish paprika)
- 1 anaheim chili (or Hatch chili if available)*
- 1 fat little jalapeno
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly smashed.
- 1/4 cup aged Spanish vinegar, such as Cepa Vieja
- 1/4 cup good California extra virgin olive oil. I like California Olive Ranch for this. They are among the larger producers so relatively easy to find.
- 1 palmful of cilantro, both leaves and stems, roughly chopped.
- Sea salt and course ground black pepper to taste.
- Chop the tomatoes and the cucumber to fit your food processor or blender.
- Place the chili pepper directly on a gas burner and blacken thoroughly. Place in a paper bag to steam. Once it’s cool enough to handle rub as much of the blackened skin off as possible. It’s okay if a little is left. Remove the top, slice to open and scrape out the seeds. Cut into thin slices.
- Slice off the top of the jalapeno and remove as much of the seed package as possible. Cut into slices.
- In your big fat food processor or blender place the chopped vegetables and garlic. A Vitamix works great for this if you have one.
- Add the olive oil and sherry vinegar.
- Add the cilantro, salt and pepper.
- Blend everything on a setting close to high. A little bit chunky is okay.
- Transfer to a bowl and chill for two to four hours.
- *Hatch chilis are perfect for this. They are usually available in August.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Warm Weather Soup
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Picnic Recipe