Everyone loves gazpacho in its traditional form but it can also be a wonderful summer treat when turned into granita. It can be best described as a slushy, cold soup that can be served between meals to cleanse the palate. The mixture of sherry vinegar, lemon, cilantro and chile have an arresting taste which complement but do not overpower the fresh taste of the Heirloom tomatoes. This dish always provokes positive comments from guests and family alike. —Shelley_
medium sized Heirloom tomatoes (use a mixture red and yellow Brandywines or other favorite variety
small finely chopped clove of garlic
medium cucumber, seeded and finely diced (reserve 1 TBS for garnish)
seeded finely diced green pepper
hot sauce such as Tabasco (my personal favorite is Tapatio-found in Mexican grocery stores) or if you prefer use one small, seeded and finely diced Serrrano chile pepper
finely chopped cilantro (for the granita) and a few sprigs reserved for a garnish
Slice tomatoes and place in in a food processor with the sugar and garlic. Pulse lightly, strain puree to discard any seeds. Stir in 3 Tbs chopped cilantro, lemon juice and sherry. Fold in one medium cucumber and one seeded green pepper that have been finely diced. Add hot sauce or diced chile testing for heat. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Place in shallow pan in freezer where it should sit for at least one hour. Take pan out of the freezer and use a fork to scrap the surface of the granite. Put it back into the freezer for another 30 minutes. Create what amounts to a slush of the flavorful tomato mixture
When it is ready to serve divide into four serving dishes and top with a garnish of diced cucumbers and a sprig of cilantro.