I had a plethora of fresh tomatoes recently and wanted to make something easy and healthy. I wanted to do something that I hadn’t done on Drizzle & Dip before and this can be challenging. After 8 odd years of blogging I have published well over 1000 posts and probably around 800 recipes (although I have lost count). I decided to make gazpacho. Its raw, vegan and is essentially a blended salad so this dish is winning on all fronts. I also got to use up a load of my tomatoes. I did a Google and came across Omar Allibhoy’s recipe on Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube and it seemed the most fuss-free version to go for.
After making it for my Instagram stories I was promptly sent a DM by a Spaniard informing me that the soup I made was not gazpacho but Salmorejo because it had bread in it. I had previously added chorizo to my paella, which is apparently out of the question for the purist (but definitely what I like) so I know how sensitive the area of Spanish recipe writing can be. Jamie Oliver also adds chorizo and seems to constantly get into trouble for messing with traditional recipes. So without wanting to offend anyone by calling this recipe gazpacho, it could be salmorejo, but its more widely accepted and understood to be gazpacho. I painstakingly pulled a few Spanish websites through Google translate in order to get a definitive explanation on the difference between salmorejo and gazpacho, plus a definition of what a true gazpacho should be and It seems gazpacho has a variety of vegetables and salmorejo is more tomato-centric, creamier and contains bread. I guess this recipe is a hybrid of the two.
The consistency is such that it works perfectly to drink vs spooning out a bowl. I almost wanted to add a splash of vodka and call it a Veggie Mary, but it was the middle of the day and I had work to do. I did, however, drink most of it out a glass and it occurred to me that this would be a perfect remedy for a hangover.
I kept the recipe the same as Omar’s except I added less water and threw in a few basil leaves because I just love basil and tomato together. I only put in 4 so it hardly altered the flavour so you can decide how you want to play that one out. With hindsight, I wish I had used tomato juice instead of water to intensify the tomato flavour further, but there will definitely be a next time.
I made my oven-baked croutons, which are so delicious and addictive. I struggled to not nibble on them all before the gazpacho was made. Simply cut up cubes from a good loaf of white bread (I used ciabatta here), drizzle with EV olive oil and roast in an oven preheated to 180C / 350F for about 15 minutes (or so) and until golden and crispy on all sides. I gave the pan a shake a few times during the cooking process.
The recipe makes jug that can serve 6 easily
- 1 green pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and roughly chopped
- ½ red onion – chopped
- ½ garlic clove (or more if you like it very pungent)
- 6 – 8 medium / large ripe tomatoes
- 1 Mediterranean cucumber, chopped (or half an English cucumber)
- 1 thick slice of bread, cut up
- ½ cup water or tomato juice
- ½ tsp cumin
- a glug of Sherry vinegar (about 2 Tbsp)
- a glug of olive oil – about 2 – 3 Tbsp
- 6 blocks of ice
- 4 – 6 basil leaves (more if you like or entirely optional)
- Bang all the ingredients into a large jug of a good blender (I used my Greenis Power blender which is a beast), and blend until a smooth consistency.
- Serve in a bowl or glass with croutons, chopped up pepper and cucumbers or any other delicious garnish you like.
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