Have you ever seen “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown? Pedro Almodóvar’s classic film about a woman trying to tell her married man friend (he’s a bit too old to be a boyfriend) that she’s pregnant with his child? There’s a scene where the main character is making gazpacho and the colors are just so vibrant and so intense you can almost taste the tomatoes. When I think of gazpacho I think of that scene and when S. wanted to make gazpacho after watching an episode of Gourmet’s “Diary of a Foodie,” I was all for it.
The tomatoes are starting to arrive in our Capay Farms produce boxes and they’re beautiful! Fresh, vine-ripened in-season heirloom tomatoes are a summer starter and a welcome addition to our fresh pantry. Two of these interestingly shaped pieces of fruit arrived in this week’s delivery, “Black Prince” tomatoes – dark crimson and green beauties. The first tomato went to good use as a sliced-up topping to scrambled eggs and bacon on toast. Topped with a few crunchy crystals of gray sea salt, they’re very close to food perfection. The second tomato sat a few days before S. transformed it into a refreshing gazpacho.
After reviewing a dozen or so recipes for gazpacho, S. got the gist of it and went to work blending the fresh produce we had on hand including the tomato, a cucumber, a couple of chopped Gypsy peppers and a handful of left over green onion tops along with water softened bread (from a homemade loaf, of course), a little red wine vinegar, juice from half a lemon, a dash or four of Tabasco and a drizzle of olive oil. With salt and pepper to finish, the puree went into the refrigerator to chill while J. baked his tuna stuffed Gypsy peppers, an inspiration from one of our fellow students in a food writing course we took from Jeanette Ferrary at Stanford last year.
We served the chilled gazpacho in small glass bowls with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a turn of the black pepper grinder. The result? A delicious, refreshing summer soup that served as the perfect companion to the oven roasted tuna-stuffed peppers. Even with the cold summer San Francisco weather, gazpacho has now become a staple soup among our recipes. It has also made J. want to watch the movie again (time to move the movie up in the Netflix queue). The menu, complete with Spanish tapas of course, usually includes the tuna-stuffed peppers and gazpacho.