Need a make-ahead appetizer for a large party or wedding?
Gazpacho is not only a crowd pleaser but a simple appetizer that can transform your event into an elegant affair. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe – and you’re set! Let the soup chill in the refrigerator while you take a deserved break. I’m pretty sure that Spain invented gazpacho and siesta to go hand in hand.
Recipe from the story Dolce
Yield: 6 servings Prep Time: 10 minutes Chill time: 1 hour
1 red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 English cucumber, peeled
6 vine-ripened tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 small garlic clove, diced
¼ medium sweet onion, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and white pepper to taste *
3-4 drops of Cholula Hot Sauce to taste
- Finely dice half of the bell pepper and cucumber and set aside for garnish. Chop the remaining bell pepper, cucumber, six tomatoes, one small garlic clove, and about a fourth of a sweet onion.
- Add the vegetables to a blender along with juice from one lemon. Drizzle one-fourth a cup of olive oil into the mixture along with two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Blend the vegetables to a pulp. You’ll have to do this in batches.
- Once puréed, pour the soup through a wide-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Push the puree through the strainer using the back of a spoon and scrape the outside of the mesh. It takes a little effort but it will create a creaminess that’s essential for this gazpacho.
- Add sea salt and white pepper and a few drops of hot sauce to taste. Let the soup chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. **
- Serve in martini glasses or the glassware of your choice. Garnish with diced cucumber and bell pepper. Keep chilled. ***
*Because I added sea salt to the rim of the glasses, I omitted the salt during this step.
**At this point you can add a large slice of day-old artisan bread pulsed in a food processor (minus the crust) until it resembles bread crumbs. I tried the gazpacho with and without the bread and liked it both ways.
***If it’s a hot day or an outdoor event, you can add an ice cube to each glass just before serving.