After attempting gazpacho for many years, this recipe is the one that best transports me back to Spain, to the little neighborhood bistro in Barcelona where I dined outside on a sultry evening, armed with a pitcher of sangria, a couple of guidebooks, and the best gazpacho I had ever tasted.
This recipe was developed from a combination of 1) Spanish chef José Andrés’s recipe from his cookbook Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America , 2) tips and techniques from Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and 3) my own vacation memories from Barcelona.
For the complete recipe with photos, tips, and step by step details, visit http://dianesfoodblog.com/2012/08/06/dianes-gazpacho/ —Diane Fluin
ripe tomatoes, any size, any variety (it’s especially great with a variety of heirloom tomatoes)
jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons
1/2 to 1 teaspoons
crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
slice rustic white bread, torn into 1" pieces
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
green pepper, peeled, seeded and diced
green onions, sliced
slices rustic white bread, torn into 1" pieces
Prep the Vegetables
Core the larger tomatoes and chop roughly into quarters; chop cherry or grape tomatoes in half. Place in a large bowl. Peel the cucumber, cut into large chunks and add to the bowl. Cut the onion and green pepper into large pieces and place in the bowl. Add the garlic and the Kosher salt. If you like your food on the spicy side, chop and add a jalapeno pepper here, too. Toss the mixture to combine well. Pour the mixture into a strainer and place a bowl under the strainer to collect the juices. Let sit for 30 to 60 minutes.
Process the Soup
After the vegetables have drained for at least 30 minutes, place them in a blender, and add the torn bread to the strained liquid until soaked. Add the bread and any remaining liquid to the blender, add the sherry vinegar and blend until the mixture becomes a thick, smooth, beautiful pink liquid. Taste for acidity; this will vary with the sweetness and types of tomatoes used. If it’s not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar. Add the red pepper flakes and then the olive oil, very slowly, in stages, blending to emulsify each time. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the Garnish
Dice the garnish vegetables into small pieces and set aside. In a small pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame and fry the bread pieces until golden, about 2 minutes. Cool and set aside.
To serve, pour chilled gazpacho in serving bowls and pass the garnishes and croutons.