Well, there it went. The first week of my new internship. I don’t think I’m legally allowed to tell you what exactly I did all week, so I’ll just say that, among other things, my week as test kitchen intern was spent sampling various whiskeys, thinking up ways to use up 10 pounds of leftover cheese, searching frantically for rutabaga in July, attempting to cut through a raw beef bone with an antique bone saw (nothing makes you feel more like a Civil War surgeon than the act of hacking away at bones with an old-timey metal bone saw. Except maybe the act of growing a wicked mustache/mutton chops combo. I don’t know.), and inheriting fifteen pounds of charmingly mismatched yet unwanted antique dishware. So far, it’s been quite fantastic.
I also got to spend some time at the farmer’s market this week, which I always enjoy. This time of year, the market is colorful and sun-drenched and lovely. If you can get to one nearby, do. And then make gazpacho.
Farmer’s Market Gazpacho
There are few summertime lunch or dinner recipes more refreshing than chilled gazpacho. Gazpacho is like salad, only better — because it’s not salad, it’s soup. Except you won’t need to turn on your oven even once to whip up a bowl. You just need to chopchopchop, and glugglugglug, and voila! Lunch. Light, cool, ridiculously easy to make lunch. This is my Aunt Lissie’s recipe (which means it’s also probably Jane Bursky’s recipe, which means it’s definitely a good one).
- 2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 English hothouse cucumber, finely chopped
- 4 scallions (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
- 2 avocados, chopped
- 3 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
- 5 cups tomato juice (aunt Lis swears by the Sacramento brand)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- dash cayenne pepper, to taste
- sour cream and croutons, for serving
Combine all of the chopped vegetables, except for the avocado, in a large glass or plastic bowl (do not use metal, which will chemically react with the acidic tomato juice and leave your soup tasting funny). (Also, please note that a food processor makes quick work of all that chopping. If you have one, use it). Add the tomato juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, and stir to combine. Add the avocado and gently incorporate so everything is all mixed together. The gazpacho can be eaten immediately but does best after a day or two in the fridge, once the vegetables have become friendly and all of the sharp flavors have melded.
Serve gazpacho chilled, with a scoop of sour cream and a handful of fresh or packaged croutons on top.
This recipe makes about 10-12 cups of gazpacho, which is a lot (though it keeps well in the refrigerator for about a week). Feel free to halve the recipe, if you’re not up to bathing in gazpacho.