Monday, July 11, 2011


That wonderful part of summer has come, where there are enough tomatoes to make delicious gazpacho.  The tomato-cucumber cold soup has been one of my favorite foods since fall 2004, during my study-abroad in Sevilla, Spain.  Anyway, I have worked with a lot of gazpacho recipes, but the one I just threw together is my best gazpacho EVER. And the best part?  It included three ingredients from my own garden*; the rest of it was from our CSA subscription.   And all ingredients, except the onion and the garlic (ok, and the lemon juice and olive oil, if we want to get technical, and the salt), are currently growing in my own garden--just not ready to harvest yet.

This is only about two servings:

3 large tomatoes
a handful of cherry tomatoes (could replace with a fourth tomato)*
1 peeled cucumber
1 green pepper
1/2 onion
3 large garlic cloves
2 hot chili peppers*
Handful of fresh basil*
salt and pepper to taste
Generous drizzling of olive oil
Generous squirts of lemon or lime juice

Chop all vegetables and combine in large bowl.  Add olive oil and lemon juice, and salt generously.  (Add pepper if you like--with the chili peppers, this already carried  quite a kick.)  

If you like, you can chill it like this for an hour or two.  It will be tasty.  I prefer mine pureed, however, and used a handy immersion blender to blend the flavors more completely.

I liked the ratios of this immensely.  

My garden flourished so much while I was gone this weekend.  It appears that humid days of 100+ degrees, while unbearable for humans, are really great for tomatoes and peppers and basil and cucumber.  My cucumber plants grew more than a foot in just four days.  They are so amazing.  And my bell pepper plants, on which I had totally given up hope, actually started making some peppers (yes, continuing with the theme of Angela-is-always-shocked-when-the-plants-don't-die).  

And I posted this on Facebook, but I did want it more permanently recorded.  I had a nightmare last night where someone was trying to get us to leave our house.  The reasons for it were characteristically murky.  But, while I was unable to give rational reasons why we shouldn't have to move out, I did know that NO ONE was getting to my tomatoes.  Someone else was going to get my tomato harvest over my DEAD BODY.  Literally.  And what I was really, really mad about was not getting to see the cucumber and zucchini plants mature.  For my unconscious, irrationally leaving our beloved house--not a problem.  Leaving my garden?  Unimaginable.

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