More of a concept than a recipe, gazpacho is something to throw together in a hurry in warm weather, keep on hand in the fridge, and eat as a first course or a snack. I like it best with at least one component roasted, such as eggplant, summer squash or red peppers, in addition to the usual raw vegetables, to create a richer flavor and a less energetically cold dish. I find that the added bread in many recipes is unnecessary. The use of sauerkraut or pickle brine here adds probiotics, a tart flavor and aids in digestion. You can also sub in a touch of miso or some fish sauce instead.
Makes about 1 quart
1 cup roasted eggplant, coarsely chopped
1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cucumber, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion
1 small handful basil leaves
½ cup sauerkraut or pickle brine or whey*
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Bay shrimp, avocado slices or other garnish
Combine all ingredients except the garnish in a blender, food processor or 2 qt. pot and blend, process or puree with a hand blender. Add water if needed to get a texture you like. Serve room temperature or chilled with above or other garnishes.
*You can substitute 1 tablespoon umeboshi plum vinegar or other vinegar plus water to make ½ cup, and add salt if needed.
THIS WEEKEND: I'll be reading, signing and cooking from Real Food All Year Saturday at the Foster City library. Come by and sample some pesto. Details on Facebook here.