Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gazpacho - serves 4

Day two of my cooking camp the kids and I re-visited our trip to the Farmers Market.  Not only did we peruse through the sheds, we stopped and visited with my sweet friend, Anna, who I've mentioned before in this blog.  She's a passionate farmer who doesn't shy away from the importance of buying local as well as teaching kids that they are our future when it comes to sustainable farming.  She even talked about bees to which she stressed that if we (the kids) don't start taking care of what their peers have done a good job of destroying, will be gone.  Not a good thing for Planet Earth.  She then concocted a treasure of a salad using only vegetables and fruits that she grew herself, had her husband chop up and used only a little salt for taste. 

The kids were served with makeshift plates and were amazed at how little it takes to prepare something so simple.  And, they liked it.  So, shall be a batch of gazpacho.  Summer in a glass or bowl and a toast to the Anna's of the world who work hard to provide us with such and to the kids that will hopefully fill her big shoes.

  • 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cored and quartered
  • 2 large yellow bell peppers, cored and quartered
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch slabs
  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Light a grill. Thread the garlic cloves onto a skewer. Lightly brush the garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, onion and corn with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables over moderately high heat, turning frequently, until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover with plastic and let steam for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove the garlic cloves from the skewers, peel them and transfer to a large bowl. Using a large serrated knife, cut the charred corn kernels into the bowl. Peel the peppers and add them to the bowl along with the zucchini, onion, cumin, crushed red pepper, tomato juice, orange juice, lemon juice and vinegar.
  • Working in batches, puree the vegetable mixture in a blender or food processor. Pour the gazpacho into a clean bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
  • Just before serving, stir the cilantro into the gazpacho. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with the cucumber and serve.

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