Tuesday, July 27, 2010

'Maters and gazpacho

What a lovely sight from a recent Saturday morning Durham Farmers' Market.  When I was a little girl, I was actually allergic to tomatoes (or 'maters if you live in the Appalachian Mountains!)-- they made me all itchy.  Luckily, that wore off.  Is there anything better than a tomato sandwich in the summertime?  White bread, mayo, juicy tomato (just one huge slice if you are lucky enough to have one that big) and maybe cheese if you feel the desire.  You can sprinkle on a little salt, too, if you want.  I could eat that for breakfast.  (And I would right now if I had one of those tomatoes sitting in my windowsill.)
I used up all my tomatoes yesterday making Gazpacho.  My first attempt ever.  And I am quite proud of it, truth be told.
I peeled and seeded the cucumber, peppers and tomatoes.  Diced the onion, smashed and minced the garlic.  Put it all in a big pot and used my immersion blender to smooth it out.  What a great truc.
Added olive oil, sea salt, pepper and bread crumbs and blended some more.  Taste, taste, taste.  Little more salt.  Snipped up some basil leaves from the jardin potager that is growing in the BFF's backyard.  Blended a little more.  Put it in the refrigerator for a few hours.  And voilà...
A little Parmesan, some homemade bread and there's a nice, chilled summer dinner.  A gourmet Frenchie might also serve some melon and jambon cru, Prosciutto ham being the closest translation I can figure out for that.
I have lots of leftovers and will need to be creative in the next few days in order to get the eaters who live with me to try it.


8 tomatoes
1 cucumber
2 peppers (I used yellow and orange)
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil-- I used probably 1/2 c.
1 c. (120 g) bread crumbs
Water, if needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Basil, optional

Peel and seed the tomatoes, cucumber and peppers.  (I still use Chef Érick's method of roasting peppers and tomatoes over a gas flame just enough to break the skin- they then peel easily and you don't loose any of the flesh.)  Seed and dice them.  Dice the onion and mince the garlic.  Blend to make smooth.  Add the bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Blend again.  Add some water, if it is too thick.  Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Blend again.  Add basil or other herbs, if using and blend once again.  Refrigerate until chilled.

Bon appétit, les tomates!!

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