Sunday, September 9, 2007

Garden gazpacho

I'm being overrun by cucumbers and tomatoes. Thankfully, there are recipes to deal with this. Here are my answers to an overabundance:


Harvest as many ripe cucumbers and tomatoes as you have to. You should have about twice as much tomato as cucumber. Rinse and set aside.
For every four cups of tomatoes, include one large red onion, a quarter-cup of chopped cilantro and from two to five cloves of garlic (depending on your level of garlic-philia).

Roughly chop the tomatoes and toss them in a large bowl with a few shakes of salt. Stir well. Slice the cucumbers into small, bite-sized pieces and add them to the tomatoes, shaking in some more salt and stirring again. Dice the onion and add, stirring again. Mince or press the garlic and add to the mix with the cilantro (finely minced). Add two tablespoons of olive oil per quart.

Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until soupy but still chunky. Salt and pepper to taste.

This is a very light and refreshing first course. I like serving it as a prelude to enchiladas.


Harvest your out-of-control tomatoes. This recipe works best with dark, rich varieties such as Black Prince, red or black brandywine and so forth. Rinse and chop. Toss them in a bowl with a little salt. Then mince one clove of garlic per two cups of tomato (more for garlic-philes to taste) and mix.

Finely slice a small handful (a quarter-cup, sliced) of fresh basil per two cups of chopped tomatoes. Add and mix along with a tablespoon of olive oil per two cups. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with slice french bread or crostini (french baguettes sliced thin and toasted with garlic butter).

Both of these go very well with a light, low acid, red wine.