It feels like I haven’t cooked in a long time. Sure I’ve made breakfast and a quick salad for lunch, but it feels like an eternity since I took the time to carefully slice, chop, bake or sear a home-cooked meal. This week, I felt it was time to change all of that. With summer making quite an impression this week with its high humidity and temperatures, there was no way I was going to get the oven going so I had to get a little creative. And gazpacho was the answer!
Sure, there is nothing very creative about gazpacho, but there is a little creativity in adding a refreshing avocado salsa on top. I researched quite a few recipes and looked at a number of variations before settling on this version by the Barefoot Contessa. As simple as it is, I knew that it would be a sure thing (Ina can do no wrong, am I right?). But one thing that I noticed is that this recipe seemed to offend some people. It turns out that this is not a traditional gazpacho, as a traditional gazpacho is much smoother in texture. So if tradition is what you’re after, just let the food processor do its business for a little longer to get that smoother consistency. Since I love avocado and try to incorporate into my dishes daily, I made an avocado salsa. It also adds a refreshing and creamy flavour to the gazpacho, not to mention vibrant colour. Take that hot and humid weather!
Gazpacho with Avocado Salsa
1 English cucumber, halved and seeded (I keep the peel on for extra fiber)
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
4 roma tomatoes
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp shallot, chopped
2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ripe avocado, diced
1. Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Feel free to process into smaller pieces if that’s your thing.
2. Add each vegetable after it has been processed to a large bowl. After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl. Add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and mix well.
3. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving. Honestly, the longer you let it sit, the better the gazpacho will be.
4. While the soup is chilling, combine all the ingredients for the avocado salsa in a small bowl. At this point, give it a taste and adjust the amount of lemon juice (you may need to add more).
5. Serve the gazpacho topped with a healthy spoonful of avocado salsa.