Friday, July 24, 2009

Spanish Gazpacho And Curry Mayonnaise With Foccacia Bread

Every summer when the garden gets going into full bloom, we are overrun with tomatoes, so we make loads of Gazpacho. However, even if you don't have hordes of tomatoes you can use canned tomatoes, since they are picked when flavor is at its height.

This year I'm using canned tomatoes because we have a fox family living in our garden. We've become so fond of our little wards, that we chose to not plant the garden this year, allowing the foxes to have free reign out there. Our decision has provided us with hours & hours of free entertainment, peering over the garden fence to see the antics of the four pups they had in spring.

I've missed having a garden this year, but it really has been worth it seeing the fox family at play. Anyway, this wonderful cold soup has a bit of a bite, so if you don't like it hot you can adjust the recipe to your own tastes. So, let's get to it.

Spanish Gazpacho With Curry Mayonnaise:

1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, preferably heirloom varieties, roughly chopped
1/2 pound cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and roughly chopped
2 scallions (white and green), roughly chopped
1/4 jalapeno, stemmed and chopped with seeds, if you like the heat
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (1/2 small bunch)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 1/2 cups chilled tomato juice (I like to use Bloody Mary mix)
2 avocados, peeled, pitted & chopped


1. On a cutting board, lightly sprinkle the garlic with a pinch of the salt and smash it into a paste with the side of a cook's knife.

2. Mix the garlic, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, scallion, jalapeno, parsley, and mint in a large bowl. Season with the salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the olive oil and sherry and toss well.

3. Add half of the vegetable mixture to the blender and pulse. Add half of the tomato juice and 2 ice cubes. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour for the flavors to come together.

4. Divide among chilled soup bowls and serve.  

For Curry Mayonnaise:

Take about 1 cup mayonnaise and thoroughly mix in 1-2 teaspoons of hot Indian curry powder. Add a teaspoon or so to the middle of each bowl of gazpacho & serve.  

For Quick Foccacia:

1 package of ready-made pizza dough
fresh rosemary,
chopped red onion,
chopped chives,
chopped garlic
garlic flavored olive oil

1. Remove pizza dough from carton and cut in half.

2. Spread out onto two pizza pans.

3. Sprinkle the chopped rosemary, red onion, and chives over the top of both.

4. Brush lightly with the olive oil.

5. Place in preheated 325* oven. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or to desired doneness.