We’ve fallen a week behind, which is understandable, considering Yael had Shabbat plus a two-day holiday to write about. Her gazpacho is indescribably better than any I’ve ever made, and I’m so excited to have the recipe!
My apologies for being so late with this blog-post! This is the blog-post for last weekend, a three-day scorcher of Shabbat leading into the holiday of Shavuot (May 27-28, commemorating the giving of the Torah). Thankfully, we remembered to program the air conditioning in advance. Also thankfully, it coincided with Memorial Day, so it was a particularly relaxing weekend since there was no need to take off from or make up lost time from work or school.
There is a custom of staying up all night the first night of Shavuot to celebrate the gift of receiving the Torah. The all-night Torah-study fest is called a Tikkun Leyl Shavuot. Many friends were out of town that weekend, so I organized a Tikkun in West Philly, which met in Penn’s Hillel building (many thanks to Penn Hillel!). We had study sessions led by community members
from 11:15am through 5:00am, at which point we had morning services, then straight home to bed. There was a fantastic turn-out, and I feel very grateful to be a part of the University City/West Philly/Grad Hospital communities.
There’s a custom of eating dairy over Shavuot. For some, this is a game-changer from usual menus of chicken soup, meat cholent, chicken, etc. For us, there wasn’t much of a change since we very rarely cook meat anyway. Nevertheless, I spent Thursday night in a cooking and baking frenzy: lasagne, tomato and onion quiches, onion gratin, cheesecake…
It was also particularly hot that weekend, which was a marvelous excuse for…gazpacho!
It is possible to make this recipe of gazpacho without a food processor (by chopping all the vegetables very finely), but that’s tedious work and I wouldn’t recommend it. If you have a food processor, it’s fairly easy, and it’s always a crowd-pleaser.
(Adapted from Moosewood: I generally triple this)
4 cups tomato juice cans (when tripling, I use 2 46 fl. oz. cans)
1 chopped small onion
2 cups freshly diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped green pepper
1 tbs. honey (I generally don’t measure it out. Put in what feels right.)
2 cloves crushed garlic (feel free to add more of this, too)
1 diced medium-sized cucumber
2 chopped scallions
juice of ½ lemon, 1 limes
2 tbs. red wine vinegar (I sometimes use sweet red wine)
1 tsp. dry basil
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. dry thyme
Dash of cumin
Dash of tabasco sauce (or really any hot sauce)
2 tbs. olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1. Throw everything into a food processor except the tomato juice and lemon/lime juices.
2. Pulse until everything is finely chopped (but not totally pureed). I try to leave a few larger chunks.
3. Put the mixture into large bowl or container, add tomato juice, lemon/lime juices.
5. Sprinkle parsley on top. Make it look classy.
6. Tell your friends.
Before you serve it in individual bowls (or mugs; mugs are also fun for gazpacho)—try to remember to sprinkle parsley on top, for aesthetics and for taste. I frequently forget to do it at the serving stage.
If doubling or tripling, you might need to do two shifts in your food processor, in which case, do try to spread out the ingredients so that they all get blended together (that is, don’t blend just the cucumbers and tomatoes together—blend all ingredients together in each shift, even if not all the quantities of the ingredients fit).
My mother made gazpacho not infrequently when I was growing up. But she does it without cumin or tabasco sauce. If you’re spicy-sensitive or have a guest who is, you can do it without the cumin/tabasco or use less than the recipe calls for, although the flavors they add aren’t highly detectable. I find that my version is more flavorful (sorry, Ema), probably because of the
cumin, tabasco sauce, and indiscriminate honey and garlic adding.
As teasers, here are some pictures of the cheesecake, mini-cheesecakes, and quiche: