sultry summer gazpacho
serves 4 | allow 40 mins prep + overnight refrigeration
what you need, in order of preparation
Core and quarter 2 lbs of juicy, ripe tomatoes and toss with 2 tsp of salt in the biggest mixing bowl you own.
Dice 1 jalapeño, 1 large, peeled cucumber, 1 medium sweet onion, and 3 cloves of garlic. Add to the bowl and mix with a big spoon.
Unless you own a commercial-sized food processor or blender, you have to do this in stages, so get out a second large bowl.
Blend half of the tomato-cuke-onion-garlic-peño mixture until smooth, then slowly add 2 tsp of sherry vinegar (or champagne or white wine vinegar) and 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil. Taste as you process/blend, adjusting oil and vinegar amounts to suit your taste.
Pour the first batch into the empty bowl and repeat the blending process for the second batch, slowly adding in again the same amounts of oil and vinegar you used in the first batch.
Strain the entire blended mixture through a flour sifter or fine mesh screen over the first large bowl that's now empty, stirring and pressing the mixture through the screen with a large spoon. This will feel like it's taking forever, but will actually take about 15 minutes.
Save the gazpacho pulp! It makes a tasty spread for toast or crackers. I add olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste and store in the fridge in a jar.
Okay, back to the gazpacho at hand.
Taste the mixture once more to ensure it's properly seasoned, then transfer to a bowl with a secure lid. Don't worry if the consistency seems thin; it will thicken and its flavor with deepen dramatically overnight in the fridge. A second night will make it even better.
When you're ready to serve, remove gazpacho from fridge, stir, and ladle into bowls or wide-mouthed cups.
Garnish each bowl with a hearty drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, ribbons of fresh basil and a tiny pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt or (if you can find it) sun-dried tomato sea salt.