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Vintage California Cuisine: 300 Recipes from the First Cookbooks Published in the Golden State


(clockwise from top left) Costoluto Genovese, Lemon Boy, Purple Calabash and Copia, from the Ferry Plaza farmers market, July 23, 2005


Gazpacho: Summer in a Bowl

I have a pitcher of gazpacho in my refrigerator all summer long and will pour myself a tall, cold glass for breakfast, lunch, a midday snack or dinner. While some recipes call for peeling the tomatoes and cucumber and/or straining the pureed concoction, it doesn't make a lick of sense to me to throw out all of that tasty vegetable fiber. So, unless the skin of the cucumber is especially tough, I toss all of the ingredients, unpeeled, into a blender, run it at high speed for a minute, and consume every last bit. The proportions can vary widely, with more or less cucumber and/or olive oil to suit one's tastes. You can also improvise and add any number of other ingredients, from purslane to melon. But one ingredient that no real gazpacho can do without (beside the tomatoes, of course) is bread.

Mark Thompson


4 large tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1/2 large red bell pepper
1/2 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley
1 sprig of basil
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons cider or red wine vinegar
1/2 cup diced white Italian or French bread, crust removed
1 clove minced garlic (optional)
salt to taste

1. Cut up vegetables, place in blender with other ingredients, and puree on high speed for one minute. Add a small amount of water for a thinner soup, if desired. Chill and serve in glass or a bowl.

Copyright 2010 Seasonal Chef