Cooking from the Archives in August

Favorite Summer Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture's First Year

Swedish Beets ... pickled beets, a refrigerator pickle, oh-so-easy with canned beets which are surprisingly good (I even use the local Schnucks private label beets which are nice 'n' small)









Summer Recipes from the Kitchen Parade Archives

Bloody Mary Salad ... jello for grown-ups, with a kick from horseradish and chives ... a great make-ahead salad for barbecue suppers, outdoor potlucks and family gatherings










Chocolate Cinnamon Whipped Cream Cake ... an easy layer cake ... the chocolate- and cinnamon-laced whipped cream frosting is to-die-for delicious! (Confession: The chocolate whipped cream icing is so good it turns a box cake into something special ...)







Alex's French Eggs ... slo000000OOOOOOw cooked eggs, savored bite by bite by ever-so-slow bite, as much for supper as for breakfast







Slow-Roasted Tomatoes ... call these sloo000OOOOw-roasted tomatoes because it takes a full 11-12 hours at low heat to develop the caramelized flesh that carries the flavor of summer into winter dishes ... see here for ideas on how to use slow-roasted tomatoes, why it's so worth making several batches



Peacherry Blues ... it's a fruit sauce and a fruit soup, spiked with fruity wine ... it's a pancake syrup and an ice cream topping ... it makes amazing smoothies and truth be told, wicked martinis too ...









Buttermilk Balsamic Dressing ... a tangy dressing with 0 Weight Watchers points so a great make-ahead staple for the refrigerator






(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Garlicky Romano Beans ♥

Grab Romano beans, if you can find them!
Today's vegetable recipe: The hard-to-find Romano beans, simply cooked in well-salted water, then tossed in a garlic- and rosemary-infused oil. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 point.

~ recipe & photo updated 2008 ~

2006: Oh if there'd only been piles and piles of these gorgeous Romano beans! Ron Jones from On the Wind Farm threw a few into my bag on Saturday, betting I'd love 'em. How right he was!

Romano beans are also known as 'Italian string beans' or 'Italian pole beans' or 'Italian flat beans'. They're broader than "every day green beans" and have flat pods. They cook in a flash. And they're more tender, more velvety, more green-tasting, more alive-tasting than other beans. If I had a vegetable garden, I'd definitely grow these. If you have a vegetable garden, I recommend that you grow these and send piles and piles to me!

2008: Grab Romano beans whenever you can find them, they are really special! If the idea of garlic and rosemary don't appeal, then I'd recommend these other ideas, Green Beans with Lemon & Pine Nuts, Green Beans with a Honey-Mustard Glaze and Romano Beans in Butter-Braised Garlic.

GARLICKY ROMANO BEANS

Hands-on time: 10 minutes (if oil is already done, 15 if not)
Time to table: 15 minutes (ditto, 35 if not)
Serves 4

GARLIC- and ROSEMARY-INFUSED OIL
1 cup olive oil
a large sprig of fresh rosemary
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with flat of a knife

Heat oil, rosemary and garlic in a skillet (the larger surface area heats the oil more evenly and quickly) until the rosemary sizzles. Turn off heat and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove the rosemary and garlic.

BEANS
Salted water to cover (see Kitchen Notes)
1 pound beans, ends snapped
1 tablespoon Garlic- and Rosemary-Infused Oil
1 tablespoon good bread crumbs, optional
Salt & pepper

Bring the salted water to a boil. Add the beans and cook for 5 minutes or until done but still bright green. (They cook faster than regular green beans.) Drain and toss with the oil and bread crumbs if using. Season to taste.


KITCHEN NOTES
The garlic- and rosemary-infused oil came from another salad. But it's so good that I've now made a cup for salads and vegetables for the next couple of weeks. The beans themselves only call for one tablespoon so there's plenty leftover for other uses.
Well-salted water is so important to pulling the most flavor from green beans. I allow 1/2 tablespoon of table salt (or a tablespoon of kosher salt) per quart of water.
When a meal requires hands-on prep just before serving, I cook the beans ahead of time, then cool quickly in a bowl of ice water. I dry the beans on paper towels, then chill them until it's time to serve them. Just before serving, warm a tablespoon of the oil in a skillet, add the beans and warm through.
Skip the bread crumbs for a low-carb vegetable, especially appropriate since this is my contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging at South-Beach fan, Kalyn's Kitchen. This week, look for the round-up at The Inadvertent Gardener.







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© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005


Slow-Roasted Tomato Soup ♥

Are you roasting tomatoes? Are you roasting tomatoes? Are you roasting tomatoes? Are you roasting tomatoes? Are you roasting tomatoes?

Hurry! Time is running out!
It's time! Don't let the window slam shut!

FROM THE ARCHIVES ... Wondering what to do with roasted tomatoes? Just look at all these wonderful possibilities! And here's how to roast tomatoes.

ONE LAST TIME Are you roasting tomatoes? ;-)

SLOW-ROASTED TOMATO SOUP
Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 25 minutes (with pre-roasted tomatoes)
Makes 5 cups
Weight Watchers 3 points per cup
NetCarb 17 per cup


3 cups chicken broth or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups slow-roasted tomatoes (from roasting 4 pounds, see how to slow-roast tomatoes)
½ cup half ‘n’ half
Salt & pepper to taste

Bring broth to boil in the microwave.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sugar, onion and garlic and sauté until softened but not browning. Stir in the slow-roasted tomatoes and hot broth and return to a boil. Add half ‘n’ half and rewarm but do not allow to boil.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Cup: 177 Cal (40% from Fat); 9g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 22g Carb; 5g Fiber; 372mg Sodium; 15mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3 points


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Surprise Announcement: Sugar High Friday

[Many thanks to all who particpated, the round-up is live!]




Lots of surprises to announce today!

SURPRISE SURPRISE: The unlikely Veggie Evangelist is September's host for Sugar High Friday, the sweet grandmommy of food blogging events.


[What's Sugar High Friday? In October 2004, Jennifer, Canada's very own Domestic Goddess, launched the first-ever blogging extravaganza for sweet tooths: all of ten food bloggers played with white chocolate. Then there were SHF2 - SHF21. Fast forward nearly two years to Delicious Days' just finished SHF22, Can You Can?: 52 jams and jellies from all over the world!]

SURPRISE: In September, Sugar High Friday makes an extra-warm welcome to cooks who feel tempted to participate but don't have food blogs (hello Connie?! Betty?! Alaska Carrots?! Nan & Anonymous?! I know you're out there!) or blog on other topics, like my pal Tamara Nicol at Luminous Lens who so graciously created the logo for this month's Sugar High Friday. Would you like to be a food-blogger-for-a-day? All the detail is at this special spot, which is also where your recipes will be posted.

BIG SURPRISE: Sugar High Friday's very first blogger-for-a-day has already sent in her entry! Yummy!!

SURPRISE: The theme for September's Sugar High Friday is ... ta da ... Surprise Inside. Let the creative juices flow! What's your inside surprise, a secret ingredient? a chocolate-covered raspberry? an almond in rice pudding? a gush of lava chocolate? [Are vegetables required? At Sugar High Friday, are you kidding?! Of course not! But since this Is A Veggie Venture, vegetables are allowed, and warmly welcomed, so long as they're tucked inside something sweet!]

SURPRISE: At random, one participant will be selected to receive a special ... you know what's coming, yes? ... surprise gift!

NO SURPRISES in the details:
  • The September 2006 edition of Sugar High Friday is Friday, September 22nd
  • So just cook up something sweet-ish with a Surprise Inside
  • If you don't have a blog or don't have a food blog, here's how to participate
  • Food bloggers, post on or before September 22nd (running a little late? no problem until the round-up gets posted)
    • If you're a de.licio.us fan, tag your posts SHF23
    • If you're a techorati fan, tag your posts SHF23
    • In your post, please include a link to this announcement post (when the round-up goes up, I'll add its link here)
  • Send an e-mail to blogATkitchenHYPHENparadeDOTcom including
    • your first name
    • your blog's name and your blog's URL
    • the recipe name and the post's URL
    • your hometown and state/country
Questions? Thoughts? Ideas? You know the drill: leave a comment!




(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Reader Tip: Tomato Sandwich with "Bacony" Cheese ♥

Many thanks to self-described "faithful reader" Betty who recently shared a favorite tomato sandwich. She melts provolone cheese until crispy-crusty, then pairs it with tomato for a vegetarian BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich.

Betty adopted the technique from an old vegetarian cookbook by Nicki and David Goldbeck who call the crisp cheese discs "cheeson" ~ get it? bacon? cheeson?

It didn't taste like bacon to me but the sandwich was very good. Thank you, Betty, for the great tip!!

KITCHEN NOTES ... To my taste, anyway, the cheeson doesn't taste good by itself. But once tucked into a sandwich, I half-wished I'd made more ... for calories' sake, good thing not!

TOMATO SANDWICH with "BACONY" CHEESE
Bookmark or print this recipe only
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 1

Provolone cheese, about 1/4" thick (need to cut with a knife, not a cheese blade)

Toasted bread
Mayo
Good tomatoes, sliced
Salt & pepper

Place a slice of cheese in a non-stick skillet on medium. (The cheese will spread just a bit. If you're melting more than one piece, keep them from touching each for they're hard to separate.) The cheese will start to sizzle and melt but don't move it until you begin to see the edges firm up. With a spatula, carefully check the underside to see if it's browning. (If it's still in the melting phase, it'll glom up and won't create a disc.) Once it's browned, turn over. Once both sides are brown, drop onto a paper towel to remove some of the excess grease. Top a slice of toasted bread with a schmear of mayo, then the cheese and tomatoes. Season to taste.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Bread, cheese vary too much for a good estimate. Needless to say, it's not "diet" food.



(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Kitchen Parade Extra: Herbed Goat Cheese ♥

I just love this goat cheese spread! For an easy low-carb appetizer, it makes up in minutes with ingredients often already on hand. It's a concept recipe begging for adaptation and creativity. And people gobble it up, asking, What IS this?

It's herbed goat cheese and it's featured in this week's Kitchen Parade column.

PS For anyone with a dog, this is a not-to-miss column ... especially if you want to meet my dog, Lady Koira!

PPS Recent Kitchen Parade columns are now on de.licio.us

(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Practical Home Canning Tips

Practical Home Canning Tips ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, a long list of useful tips for home canners from a long-time canner.
graphic button small size size 10 A long list of tips and insider tricks from an obsessive home canner. This is my "what I wish I'd known before I started canning" list. graphic button small size size 10

A few summers ago, I decided to can. What started as a few jars somehow turned into a root cellar's worth. Call it the Summer of Obsessive Canning. I stopped counting after the 145th jar and the 25th batch. All lined up on the counter, the glistening jars were immensely satisfying. I learned to love the POP sound as the seals set. It helped me grieve the loss of my mom, just weeks gone.

That summer started with plum chutney and ended with pickled beans. In between came a red relish, dixie relish, piccallili, blueberry lime jam, banana butter, pickled mushrooms, pickled peaches, pickled beets, pickled peppers I call Pied Pipers, watermelon pickles, my grandmother's dills. That year, there were too many tears to make Ripe-Tomato Relish with Peaches & Pears (Sharon's Pickle), my mom and I had always made it together.

I don't can every year now, just some years. But when I do, I always review the tips below which were first written for our family cookbook, my "I sure wish I'd known this before starting" list. They're practical tips, mostly what to do before and after you start canning, what I think of as "what I learned between jar #1 and jar #145".

Do you have your own home canning tips? Please do comment below, so many other canners have shared their own great tips, helping this page become a real resource page for new and returning home canners. If you're looking for tried-and-true recipes, here are my canning recipes.

Green Pepper Jelly for SHF22

Sugar High Friday's extravaganza of sweetness takes an extra measure of creativity here at A Veggie Venture. Sweets and Vegetables, you see, aren't an everyday match. But the TIME-famous folks at Delicious Days hosting August's Sugar High Friday made it easy: gooey sticky sweet spreads in glass jars! Opening my favorite canning cookbook, the standard Ball Blue Book, I knew the pages would yield a vegetable jam. Yep, there 'twas: a jelly made from green peppers.

So I reviewed my Practical Home Canning Tips, dusted off the canning supplies in the basement, turned down the air conditioning ... and got to work!

THE TASTE TEST ... Green Pepper Jelly may be sweet but it's also astringent. The lick-the-spoon test suggested it might be better suited for savory treatments like stirring a spoonful into a sauce for fish or glazing grilled pork or chicken. But the bread-n-butter test cinched my approval: like with marmalade, the sweet and tart combination is terrific for everyday toast and good bread. Yum.

WHAT I LEARNED ...
  • Food coloring is a necessity. There may be perky navy blues and crisp navy whites but green pepper jelly, sans food color, comes out brownish army bluck.
  • The book says the same recipe works for red peppers, with, of course, red food coloring.
  • Liquid fruit pectin should not be substituted for the specified powdered fruit pectin. Luckily, I learned this BEFORE starting to cook.
  • August is a hard month to find canning supplies. Two stores were out of powdered pectin, one out of half-pint canning jars.
  • "Pop" is an oh-so-satisfying sound!
Thanks, Nicky and Oliver, for the jammy inspiration!

GREEN PEPPER JELLY
Print or bookmark Green Pepper Jelly
Hands-on time: 15 minutes Day One, 60 minutes Day Two (not all active)
Time to table: 24 hours
Yields 6 half pints

7 green peppers, washed, stems, ribs and seeds removed, in quarters
1 jalapeno, ditto
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 1/2 cups apple juice (+ potential need for more)

1 package powdered pectin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
5 cups sugar
Green food coloring

DAY ONE In a food processor, puree half the peppers and jalapeno with half the vinegar. Transfer to a very large covered container. Puree the remaining peppers with the remaining vinegar. Transfer to the bowl. Stir in the apple juice. Refrigerate overnight.

DAY TWO [Set up the boiling water canner and a pot to sterilize the lids and bands. Run already clean jars through the dishwasher on the extra-hot cycle to get hot.]

Strain the peppers through a chinois / china cap / other strainer into a four-cup liquid measure. If you don't end up with four cups liquid, add more apple juice to make four cups.

Transfer four cups to a large pot. Sprinkle with pectin and salt, bring to a boil, stirring often. (I wish I'd used a non non-stick pan for this for it took too long on medium heat to get this to a boil. Next time I'll use stainless steel.) Once it boils, add the sugar. Return to a boil, stirring often if not constantly. Let boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add food coloring. One jar at a time, ladle through a funnel into hot, sterilized jars with 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the lips. Add lids and bands and tighten. Process 5 minutes in boiling water canner.


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad ♥

What a surprise, how delicious this was!

It's mid-summer farmers -market bounty (fresh tomatoes, corn and okra) warmed under the broiler, then tossed with fresh basil. Heaven!

It is also a great way to sneak in a few fresh okra, something that the Fatfree Vegan Kitchen often tantalizes us with but I'm still warming up to.

[I'm quite sure it's Susan who taught me how to tell if okra is fresh. Bend the tip, if it snaps off, it's fresh. If it bends but doesn't snap, it should be left behind! [later note: Susan alerted me that I had it exactly opposite so I've corrected the information so not to perpetuate misinformation]
The okra was a tiny bit gummy but not unpleasantly so. I've somewhere seen notes on how to prevent gumminess ... anyone have ideas?]

And because it warms under the broiler, for just 10-15 minutes, it hardly heats up the kitchen, making it a perfect vegetable choice for hot summer days!

NEXT TIME ...
  • For a main dish, I'd toss this into hot pasta with Parmesan and maybe pancetta or some bacon.
  • The recipe called for broiling the tomatoes alone first, then adding the okra and corn. Next time I'll do the tomatoes and okra together, so the okra cook a bit more.
  • I'll use more fresh basil, which really makes this dish.
FROM THE ARCHIVES ... For other ways to use perfect summer tomatoes, see here in the Recipe Box. Right now I have a hankering for this no-cook taboulleh and still another big bowl of panzanella.

WARM TOMATO, CORN & OKRA SALAD
Bookmark or print Warm Tomato, Corn & Okra Salad
Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4
Weight Watchers 2 points per serving
NetCarb 18 per serving


1 pound perfectly ripe summer tomatoes, cores removed with a knife in a cone, halved lengthwise, then cut into half-inch slices, then slices halved
1/2 pound small fresh okra
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper

2 ears fresh corn, kernels sliced from ear

Fresh basil to taste (the recipe called for 2 tablespoons, I'd use 2x or 3x this)

Toss tomatoes, okra, olive oil and seasoning in a bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet. (You could skip the bowl step but I find it hard to evenly distribute a very small quantity of oil on a flat surface.) Heat under the broiler for 5 - 10 minutes, until okra begin to brown a little. Mix in corn and broil another 5 - 10 minutes. Stir in basil. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 133 Cal (28% from Fat, 12% from Protein, 61% from Carb); 4 g Protein; 5 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 23 g Carb; 5 g Fiber; NetCarb 18; 57 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 26 mg Sodium; 0 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 2 points

SHORTHAND RECIPE
WARM TOMATO CORN OKRA SALAD Toss 1lb sliced tomato, ½ lb okra, 1T olive oil, S&P; broil 5-10min. Add 2 ears corn, broil 5-10min. Stir in ¼ c fresh basil. VV06 G6/94 Serves 4. WW=2


CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Gourmet, June 1994


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Chilled Asparagus Orange Soup ♥

I was so surprised at this wonderful tomato - orange soup combination that when I happened onto an asparagus - orange soup combination, the recipe called out, Make me! Make ME! MAKE ME!

And lo - if asparagus and orange aren't magical too!

Word to the Wise: This soup must-must-must sit for at least 18 hours. First made, it tasted so plain and uncomfortably hot that I nearly pitched it into the rubbish. But by the next day ... excellent, a huge transformation.

NUTRITION NOTES ... This was rich enough (even with fat-free half 'n' half) that a small serving was plenty, matched with the rest of supper, of course.

CHILLED ASPARAGUS ORANGE SOUP
Bookmark or print Chilled Asparagus Orange Soup
Hands-on time: 15 minutes active, 30 minutes total
Time to table: 18 - 24 hours
Makes 3 cups

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, diced
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 1 inch lengths
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
1 cup water
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Few grains cayenne or more to taste

½ cup fat-free half & half
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Madeira or dry sherry or vermouth or Marsala

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium high. Add the onion, asparagus as they’re prepped. Add the tarragon and let sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the water, salt and cayenne and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 15 minutes or until asp. Transfer to a blender and blend til smooth. (If doubling the recipe, must do this in batches.) Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Per Serving: 75 Cal (28% from Fat, 14% from Protein, 58% from Carb); 3 g Protein; 2 g Tot Fat; 1 g Sat Fat; 11 g Carb; 2 g Fiber; NetCarb9; 53 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 230 mg Sodium; 6 mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 1 1/2 points

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Adapted from Best 125 Meatless Main Dishes by Mindy Toomy



(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Kitchen Parade Kitchen Lesson: Vichyssoise ♥

Can you spell it? Pronounce it?

I promise, vichyssoise is easier to make than to spell or pronouce so if you've not yet, now's the time!

A quick lesson for this simple leek and potato soup is in this week's Kitchen Parade column.




(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

Tomato Gazpacho ♥ Recipe

Tomato Gazpacho ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, the classic chilled Spanish soup, so special every year. Low Carb. WW3.
How to make Tomato Gazpacho, the classic chilled Spanish summer soup. This recipe makes a big batch and should be reserved for the best summer tomatoes and other late-summer vegetables. As humble as gazpacho is, this stuff is worthy of an occasion, a summer meal in itself.

2005: So don't you some times just know you have a kindred spirit, even if you haven't yet met in the real world? So it's been for a long time with the multi-talented food blogger of Simply Recipes, one of TIME's Coolest Websites of 2006, published just yesterday (too bad, TIME has removed that list from its site). Early on, Elise ever-so-gently taught me the ropes of food blogging etiquette, something I've repeated for other new bloggers as recently as yesterday) and always mentioning Elise's own early kindnesses. Plus, nine times out of ten, the food Elise cooks looks like it could come straight from my kitchen!

So with a dozen gazpacho recipes in contention, I chose hers. It was a big hit at a recent gathering. Many of us appreciated that this is NOT a spicy gazpacho. Now we all like a spicy gazpacho on occasion but too many err on the side of spice; that said, this recipe, too, could be kicked up if that's your taste. But I chose to make tonight's version all about the flavor of wonderful local tomatoes.

So many thanks, Elise, for showing me the ropes and for one terrific recipe for gazpacho! Since making your gazpacho, I've twice ordered gazpacho at good restaurants, neither one measured up to yours.

2010: Gazpacho is a classic summer dish, served cold, either as a starter or a light meal. It's that good! I was quite stunned about how good this is. I think you just might adore it ...

2015: "Wow. Good gazpacho." I grinned when someone raved about my gazpacho at a big feast of Spanish and Portugese food we hosted. He didn't know I'd made it! This recipe totally belongs on my "be sure to make this every summer" and "house recipe" list!

TOMATO GAZPACHO RECIPE

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes a bunch, about 12 cups

This recipe makes too much for a kitchen-size blender so it helps to work in batches. To be efficient, prep the vegetables up front and divide into four.

THE VEGGIES
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/2 a large red onion, chopped
6 ripe medium-size tomatoes, chopped

BLENDER INGREDIENTS
4 cups tomato juice, 1 cup at a time
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil, optional (see TIPS)
Zest and juice of a lemon (essential, don't skip these)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (see TIPS)
6 drops Tabasco
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh chive
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley

TO FINISH
Salt & pepper
More Worcestershire?
More Tabasco?

THE VEGGIES Prep the veggies, divide into four and set aside.

BLENDER INGREDIENTS Add 1 cup of tomato juice and the remaining Liquids & Herbs to the blender; process, just for a few pulses to blend. Add a quarter of the vegetables (don't pack the blender, otherwise it'll get stuck) and blend until the texture you want is achieved, then transfer to a large bowl. Add another cup of tomato juice and another 1/4 of the veggies, transfer to the big bowl. Continue until all the veggies are blended in. Stir together in the big bowl.

TO FINISH Taste, season and add Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco to taste.

CHILL & SERVE Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving. Serve cold.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
2010: Be sure to use really ripe tomatoes. This year I bought a large bag of very ripe and somewhat bruised tomatoes for $1. After the bruised parts were sliced off, what remained was decadently ripe. 2005 and 2010: Elise peels and seeds the tomatoes, I don't find it necessary.
BLENDER vs FOOD PROCESSOR 2005: The recipe I nearly-but-didn't make came from My Kitchen in Spain which devotes an entire chapter to gazpacho. For an entire summer, author Janet Mendel made the classic Spanish peasant soup in a food processor, then returned to the blender for better texture. She advised that a high-powered blender was important. So I checked the bottom of mine (check, at least 300 watts) but still worried if it'd have enough oomph to deal with celery and bell peppers. It did but only, I believe, because I worked in batches, using just enough liquid to squish everything around but not so much for the vegetables to get lost in the blender.
TIMING 2005: It's really important that this SIT for 24 hours before serving, it truly does take that long for the flavors to meld into something special. 2010: This time, the gazpacho was completely delicious straight out of the blender. 2015: Yep, the flavors really do meld, best to wait a few hours.
OLIVE OIL 2005: I omitted the olive oil on Elise's ingredient list, I just didn't find it necessary so this is a non-fat gazpacho. But 1/4 cup is miniscule for something yielding 12 cups and it might, indeed, smooth the finish. Plus, now that I've read more of My Kitchen in Spain, I know that "there is no such thing as true gazpacho without olive oil". So next time I will add the olive oil back in, just to see. 2010: I did use the olive oil and whether or not it was the olive oil that "made" the gazpacho or not, I don't know. It did have a smoother feel, a lovely mouthfeel. 2015: Now? I never omit the oil.
WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE 2010: My notes from 2006 suggest that worcestershire sauce is important and also makes the gazpacho "more red". But I was out and so skipped it: the gazpacho was still oh-so-good. 2015: For a vegan gazpacho, be sure to choose a vegan worcestershire.
TEXTURE So I usually blend the heck out of gazpacho for something that's pourable and drinkable from cups. But next time, I'm going to try blending it less for a more rustic texture, just to see.
HOW to SERVE GAZPACHO Consider serving gazpacho in champagne glasses, so festive! To serve tableside as the first course, consider serving in a trifle bowl, so impressive! Or for parties, put the gazpacho in carafes with small cups and spoons nearby, very festive.
GARNISHING GAZPACHO My favorite garnish for gazpacho is a simple swirl of cream. Once for a dinner party, I garnished the bowls with bits of feta and fresh herbs: these strong flavors really took AWAY from the brightness of the vegetables themselves.



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Still Hungry?



MORE FAVORITE RECIPES for SUMMER TOMATOES

~ Fire-Charred Tomatoes ~
~ Old Liz's Old-Fashioned Cucumber & Tomato Salad ~
~ Fresh Tomato with Fresh Mozzarella ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Summer's Tomato Soup ~
~ Panzanella ~
~ Ratatouille ~
~ more tomato recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

COOKING IN SEASON: THIS SAME WEEK ACROSS THE YEARS

Turkey on Pita with Tomatillo Sauce Veggie Burritos with Cilantro Sauce (< Meatless Monday pick!) Tomato-Tomato Roasted Nopalito Tomatillo Salsa Pepper & Tomato Salad Baked Parmesan Tomatoes Tomato Gazpacho (< every summer, so good!) OOO Zesty Green Beans Summer Borscht Roasted Baby Eggplant Halves with Herbs Old Liz's Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad (< Pinterest loves this!) Homemade Blueberry Vinaigrette Tomato Platter with Olives & Feta (< easy + pretty!) Cool-as-a-Cucumber Avocado Soup Chilled Zucchini Soup Shooters Roasted Eggplant with Pomegranate & Buttermilk-Yogurt Sauce

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2010 & 2015