Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chunky gazpacho, 3 ways

I had to do something with those tomatoes, right? Although most chefs would disagree with me, this is my take on a good bowl of gazpacho. I really dislike the traditional Spanish blended version, pulverized so fine you could drink it (think V8 juice). I prefer to eat hearty chunks of crunchy vegetables—red, yellow and green tomatoes, Persian cucumbers, green bell peppers (sometimes yellow and orange bell peppers too), celery, minced garlic, red onion, scallions, and cilantro leaves—all bathing in a perky tomato juice. Subtle undertones of smokey Spanish pimentón paprika, sherry vinegar and a good olive oil shine through the bright vegetable flavors. Think of this as a salad that you eat with a spoon.

A jazzed up version of gazpacho...
an appetizer in a martini glass with garlicy shrimp that's been dusted with pimentón 

One last spoonful... 
an amuse bouche in a porcelain spoon, with chili pepper threads

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