I first tasted Gazpacho in the sixties when I was a young student in Spain.
It was in a little cafe in Toledo and I still remember the cafe, the handsome young man and the Gazpacho.
It seems there are as many Gazpacho recipes as there are barbecue recipes. I finally found one that reminds me of that night in Toledo. I have adapted my recipe from one in Craig Claiborne’s New York Times International Cookbook – my favorite cookbook. Did you know that Craig Claiborne – food editor for the New York Times – was born in Sunflower, Mississippi?
- 4 cups tomatoes with cores removed 2 1/2 to 3 pounds* or 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups peeled cucumber cut into large chunks
- 1/2 cup cucumber diced into small pieces for garnish (reserved)
- 1 green pepper seeded and cut into chunks
- 1 small clove garlic peeled and minced
- 5 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or white vinegar wine vinegar is more distinctive
- 1 1/2 slices bread or 2 slices French bread
- Place tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups cucumber, green pepper, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and bread into a blender. Blend until pureed.
- Pour through a kitchen sieve and press with the pestle to extract the liquid. Discard the seed and skins - they make great compost.
- Chill and serve in flat bowls with the reserved, diced cucumber as garnish.
The basket in the photo (above) is very special – it was a gift from Miss Sadie, owner of the original Big Mill grist mill. Years ago she used it to take three dozen eggs up town every week to trade for coffee and sugar and things she couldn’t grow. It still has the cotton seeds in it, They were used to keep the eggs from breaking.
I grew these tomatoes in my Big Mill Cook’s garden. The garden is in my orchard where our livestock used to graze under the apple trees.
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