Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Toe-mate-o Toe-mah-toe

As you may know, I read a lot of recipes in magazines, online and in cookbooks.  I watch some cooking shows on occasion and especially love reality shows that revolve around food (Chopped, Top Chef, The Great Food Truck Race- which my kids also love).  I can't, don't and won't make every fantastic looking thing I see but sometimes something sticks in my head and it just has to be done.  I cannot tell you the number of years (mainly because I'm not sure but also because it's been a while) that I've had Gazpacho on the brain.  I saw on some show ages ago and it has totally appealed to me yet somehow I never even had it until this year.  Earlier this summer I had a lovely, chunky Gazpacho that my friend Marty made.  It was super delicious (need that recipe Marty!) and a great way to start a meal.  Then I came across this Smooth Tomato Gazpacho recipe in a Martha Stewart magazine, which was the type I've had on the brain all these years.  If you have a blender, you can make Gazpacho.  No skills required for this recipe. 
We were so lucky to have a ton of tomatoes come out of the garden this year.  Did you know that tomatoes can actually reduce your risk of getting cancer as well as heart disease?  They are low in calories but have a high water content so they can make you feel full longer.  A win, win, win.
All you have to do is puree some tomatoes, a little cucumber, onion, garlic, water vinegar, almonds and olive oil until smooth.  Some recipes add a little bread as well.  I had a crusty loaf that was getting a little stale and put a small slice in there to thicken it up a little, although not necessary.
Once pureed it turns a nice creamy, orangey red color.
Drizzle with a little olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper to serve.  YUM.  I just learned (from the link I added above) that you get the maximum nutritional benefits from tomatoes when eaten with a little fat, so this works out perfectly!  Give it a try, its a healthy, tasty way to start a meal when you're getting tired of salad!

Smooth Tomato Gazpacho (Martha Stewart Living)

2 lbs tomatoes (about 4), cored and coarsely chopped
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 small garlic clove
2 oz blanched almonds (scant 1/2 cup), toasted
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
salt and fresh ground pepper

Puree all ingredients and 2 tsp salt in a blender until smooth, season with pepper.  Refrigerate for at least 45 min.  Drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper just before serving.


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