Here in England it’s Gazpacho weather. I’m a weak English whimp and I don’t cope well with the heat. I don’t like the cold either. Guess why talking about the weather is a national obsession in England?
So it’s hot and humid and I don’t want to cook. I don’t mind making food, but I don’t want to use the oven or stove top or anything else that will generate heat.
Hence Gazpacho weather. If it was about 18/19 ̊C it would be quiche weather. I categorize weather by the food that’s suitable to eat.
I personally like Sky Gyngell’s Gazpacho recipe; it’s always served me well. I know it’s not an original recipe, but I thought I’d share it as I like to trawl the internet for recipes when I can’t think of anything to cook, so I guess that other people may well do the same.
I think it’s a lovely recipe for a hot day; it’s healthy and being vegan it makes it a recipe for more people to enjoy. I like to serve it with one hot side, mostly for the contrast. Sometimes it’s hot toast and salty butter, sometimes grilled haloumi, you could do koftas. Today I’m going to use some (shop bought, sorry) spinach börek.
I know some people cannot contemplate anything other than a BBQ when it's hot; you may not win friends with salad, but give it a go!
Here’s her recipe.
I alter it a bit every time depending on if I’m out of something. Today’s version looked like this.
100g/3 oz toasted almonds
1 fresh red chilli, sliced lengthways, seeds removed
I din't have any fresh chilies, but I had some that were in thee process of being dried, so I used them.
1 red onion, sliced
I had small onions, so I used two.
2 red peppers
I had one yellow pepper and a jar of roasted red peppers. That'll do.
4 small cucumbers, skin left on and chopped
One regular cucumber always works for me. I thought that there was a cucumber in the fridge; there wasn't so a cucumber-less gazpacho will have to do. It's after 4pm on a Sunday, and in the UK that means the shops are closed.
1kg/2lb tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
A good pinch of sea salt
100ml/3 fl oz olive oil
200ml/7fl oz tomato juice
I usually use passata, simply because I always have that in the cupboard.
Generous handfuls of basil and mint leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Put the almonds, chilli, red onion, garlic, peppers, cucumber, tomatoes and sherry vinegar into a blender and pulse.
Add sea salt, which turns up the volume of the flavours, and some olive oil.
Add half the tomato juice to loosen the gazpacho and blend, then add liberal amounts of basil and mint, more tomato juice and pulse one more time.
Purée until it's still textural and chunky. Serve chilled.
I hope this helps give an answer to the eternal question "What am I going to cook tonight?" Thanks for reading!