Gazpacho is one of my all-time favorite go-to gameday recipes. When entertaining a crowd or eating small bites in front of the TV, I reach for recipes that can be made ahead of time and pulled out as guests arrive or when you don't want to be stuck in the kitchen missing all of the competitive action.
During tomato and pepper season, I take the extra step of roasting tomatoes and red peppers for this dish. Succulent, juicy, and slightly carmelized, roasted vegetables add an incredible depth of flavor to the gazpacho. During the off-season, I use a combination of canned diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, and jarred red peppers.
Preparing the gazpacho ahead of time also allows all of the ingredients and flavors to meld together. I love that I can throw all of the ingredients in the food processor, give it a couple spins, and it's good to go. My 12 oz Kilner Glass Clip Top Jars are perfect for storing and serving a varierty of fridge-to-table dippable delectables including my gazpacho and some delicous butter bean hummus.
Gazpacho is really a cold soup that can be eaten alone, but we use it more as a side/dip with veggies, grilled bread, and roasted or grilled shrimp. It's even great as a "sauce" over pasta, chicken, or pork.
- 1 12oz can diced tomatoes (or substitute for one pint of cherry tomatoes or 4-5 plum tomatoes, halved or quartered depending their size)
- 1 12oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, halved (either fresh or from the jar)
- 1 Baguette
- 1/3 English cucumber, chopped
- 2 celery stalks with leavy tops, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - 1 roughly chopped; 1 reserved for bread
- 1 handfull parsley or cilantro
- Juice from 1 lemon
- Dash of hot sauce, to taste
- Salt and Pepper to taste; or a good sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. If using fresh tomatoes and peppers, place vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 10-12 minutes until tomatoes are soft and slightly burst, and peppers are slightly charred on the outside and soft on the inside. Remove from oven, let cool for a couple of minutes.
3. Cut about a 1/4 piece of the baguette. Slice lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in the oven on an open rack. Bake for 5-10 minutes until it is toasted. Remove from oven and rub cut sides with whole garlic clove. (This makes the best, freshest garlic bread you'll ever have!) Let cool slightly, cut into chunks. The bread and tomatoes/peppers can be done at the same time. The bread takes up very little room on an oven rack.
4. In the bowl of a large food processor, combine tomatoes, peppers, garlic bread pieces, chopped garlic, cucumbers, celery, parsley or cilantro, lemon juice, dash of hot sauce, salt and pepper (or the steak seasoning). Pulse to desired consistency. Check seasonings - add spices or more hot sauce to taste.
I personally prefer a chunkier gazpacho for dunking. Be careful with that pulse button. You can't undo overblended gazpacho.
5. Transfer to a sealed glass jar. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Add some fresh cilantro or parsley and a splash of lemon juice to brighten everthing up just before serving.
6. Prepare the shrimp. Shrimp needs to be cooked just before serving but don't worry, I've got an awesome tip for making it as little work as possible while entertaining. Ahead of time, peel and devine the shrimp, then make kebab-style shrimp skewers. Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and lemon juice, cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.
7. These little guys are amazing grilled or even roasted. I've just recently been turned on to roasting shrimp (thanks Ina Garten!) and haven't look back. I think it's because I've been using our small enamelware roaster pan. At 10.5"x8", this pan is the perfect size for balancing the shrimp skewers, allowing for even cooking of the shrimp.
I am so in love with these enamalware roasters. Not only can they be used in the oven and even on the grill, but they look so pretty as a server - another oven to table gem!
Serve the gazpacho and shrimp with remaining baguette cut into slices, and an assortment of vegetables such as carrots, celery, and cucumber sticks.