This year, a few days after the New Year, I went through each page and wrote down small goals for me and for us. Nothing major, just things like: plan a weekend trip, try three new recipes, have a party in the backyard with lanterns, visit the library (I used to never borrow from the library, but after noticing that my bookshelves had become crammed with books I disliked or couldn't even bother to finish I decided that enough was enough. We've been library regulars for three months and it's been a revelation.)
Anyway, July's big goal was to make gazpacho. When I wrote the goal I had planned to have vines full of ripe tomatoes growing in the back yard, but I never actually got around to planting them. So Sunday morning we headed out to the farmers market for supplies. Heirloom tomatoes, a huge and misshapen cucumber. Some orange bell peppers no bigger than Dash's fist. Onions, parsley, good cheese bread for dipping plus some grapes and peaches just for kicks.
This is the gazpacho I made and it is the best I've ever tasted. Fresh and chunky and crisp. Just the right mix of tart and sweet, cold and hearty. I highly recommend you give it a shot.
Mom's Gazpacho (with my notes)
1 egg (I used 2)
2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes (I used about six tomatoes, ranging in size from a giant heirloom to egg-sized plums)
1/2 cup chopped green or yellow pepper (I used three small orange peppers)
1 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed (I used one whole 12-inch cuc)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
2/3 cup olive oil (I used all 2/3 cup, but I'll use about half as much next time)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (I used the juice of three lemons because Dash was helping and he became enamored with the lemon press)
2 cups beef broth (optional) (I used veggie stock)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano (I omitted)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
Pepper, coarsely ground
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used three)
1 46-ounce can tomato juice
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
Tabasco, to taste (I omitted because I live with the delusion that Dash will eat the foods I prepare for him. I bet it would have been an extra-tasty addition)
Garnish (optional): chopped parsley, minced red onion, chopped olives (I omitted)
In a pot or large bowl, combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, cold broth, red wine vinegar, parsley, Worcestershire, and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Stir.
Sprinkle garlic with a pinch of salt, and set in bowl.
When eggs are finished cooking, run under cold water, remove shell, add to garlic and salt mixture, and mash together with fork.
Pour tomato juice into large pot or bowl with vegetables, and add garlic, egg, and salt mixture. Add bread crumbs and stir so that they dissolve into liquid.
Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Chill for at least 4 hours and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, minced red onion, and chopped olives if desired.