And because I like pronouncing it the Spanish way better:
First of all can I just say that it’s been unseasonably cold around here this past week? Seriously, it’s like fall has already arrived.
A few weeks ago I truly felt the fruits of what it meant to have an “anti-cooking” supper since at that point we were experiencing a heat wave and Mike wasn’t allowing us to turn the A/C on. So I was grateful that dinner involved only chopping and blending and no stove/oven elements.
That being said, while one of the points of our “Anti-Cooking” series was to avoid the heat in the summer kitchen, it was also a big goal of mine to try and eat more raw, vegetable based dishes.
Enter this week's recipe for gazpacho; the seemingly obvious choice for a raw, summer, anti-cook meal.
Gazpacho was traditionally a food for peasants and shepherds in the south of Spain. Today it’s more of a tapas-y dish, but I like eating something and learning a recipe when I know it’s been around for such a long time. Translation; it must be good, or easy, or cheap to make, or all of the above. Win-win-win.
That being said, I had until now steered clear of the traditionally tomato based dish for two reasons:
First of all, my mom kinda ruined Gazpacho for me at a young age – I hadn't yet, shall we say, developed a mature pallet, and while I’m certain her cucumber version was absolutely perfect, my 11 year old self was left with a mild case of Gazpacho ptsd (I’m sorry but when you’re a kid, soup is only EVER supposed to be served hot).
I also have a confession to make.
I’m not a big tomato person. Tomatoes to me look amazing in salads or sticking out from the middle of a burger or garnishing a breakfast plate. But when it comes down to it, I just always pick them out. It took me about 25 years to figure out that the reason I picked them out was because I didn’t like the taste or texture – up until then if you asked me if I liked tomatoes I would have said yes. That’s the nice thing about getting older, you start to know these important things about yourself, like for example; you don’t actually like tomatoes.
So here we are, Anti-Cooking and I choose (of my own volition) a recipe of tomato soup(a) served chilled.
But if you're gonna do gazpacho, you have to start with tradition and because this dish originates from the Iberian Peninsula dating back to Roman time’s, that means starting with tomatoes.
And I'm happy I did. This recipe is so easy I felt like I was cheating. It also turns out that when you blend tomatoes, they are in my opinion, much more delightful (which makes sense because I actually love spaghetti and any tomato based pasta dish).
Also, this recipe in particular adds peaches which a) are my favourite and b) their sweetness just cuts the acidity of tomatoes in a way that is divine. If you find the peaches aren't ripe enough you should either wait, or add a of sugar.
Gazpacho isn't for everyone - my taste tester liked this dish but he still has a hard time getting around the "cold" part. He said that his favourite part was the way the shallots and basil came out over what you would expect to be overwhelmingly a tomato taste.
And that's what's NOT cooking in my kitchen this week :) Don't forget, it you're anti-cooking, make sure you tweet/instagram/hashtag so we can include you in our link up!!!
Today's recipe is a variation of this recipe from Epicurious.com.