gazpacho two ways: traditional red (from jose andres) and green (from bon appetite)


For months my husband and I planned to tear up half of the cement driveway that sits to the left of our house. We had 10 feet of concrete slab that was a total waste of space and didn't make sense to maintain since we have one car (and hope to keep it that way) and a scooter. We thought the space should be turned into our family garden.

After dragging our feet for most of the spring and early summer, Matt finally rented a jack-hammer. It took only (!) seven hours of drilling in the sun, in temperature that exceeded 100 degrees, to get the job done. We removed the concrete and assembled the elevated garden beds. Then we tilled the hard clay, added bags and bags of soil, and got to planting. We're growing basil, jalapeños, Corsican mint, Kentucky Colonel mint (hello mint juleps! and mojitos!), heirloom tomatoes, kale, marigolds, milk weed, jupiter's beard and a host of other bee-welcoming and butterfly-attracting plants. 

In just under 5 weeks we have started to reap the benefits of our hard work. Otis is in charge of watering the plants every morning and every evening. Theodore, being slightly less helpful than his older brother, usually takes the garden spade and swings it in the direction of the tomatoes until something falls off the vine (hopefully he outgrows this soon). There is an enormous satisfaction in knowing that we are greening the land, and our garden serves as our proudest DIY-it to date. We've come a long way since I tried to grow a strawberry plant on our fire escape in Brooklyn. I lovingly watered that silly plant and placed it in the sun, but the result of all my effort was a pitiful yield - a single and sad looking berry that didn't even taste good. 

But times have changed and this garden is a total thrill. It's thriving and it's growing. I can't tell you how amazing it felt to pick some of the gazpacho ingredients  from our little plot of Earth....
Patricia's Gazpacho 
(Courtsey of Jose Andres via Food + Wine. With thanks to the Truffle Table  in Denver for suggesting this recipe.)

Ingredients
2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (about 10), cut into chunks
8 ounces cucumber (1 cucumber), peeled and cut into chunks
3 ounces green pepper, in large pieces
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Garnish
1 tablespoon Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 slice rustic white bread
6 plum tomatoes, with the seeds, prepared as "fillets"
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes
4 pearl onions, pulled apart into segments
2 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Sea salt
4 chives, cut into 1-inch pieces

Preparation

  • In a blender, combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, garlic and sherry vinegar and blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid. Taste for acidity; this will vary with the sweetness of the tomatoes. If it's not balanced enough, add a little more vinegar. Add the olive oil, season with salt, and blend again. Strain the gazpacho into a pitcher and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • In a small pan, heat the olive oil over moderately high heat and fry the bread until golden, about 2 minutes. Break into small pieces to form croutons and set aside.
  • To serve pour gazpacho into each of 4 bowls. Place 4 croutons, 2 "fillets" of tomatoes with seeds, 4 cherry tomato halves, 3 cucumber cubes and 3 onion segments into each bowl. Add a few drops of olive oil to each onion segment and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Add a few drops of vinegar to each cucumber cube and drizzle a little more around each bowl. Sprinkle sea salt on the tomatoes and sprinkle the chives over the soup. Serve when the gazpacho is refreshingly chilled.
NOTES: 
José's tips: If you want to be original, buy yellow or even green tomatoes. Also, if you want to save time, you can simplify the garnishes: Just use a few cubes of cucumber, tomato and green pepper.
* * *

I've been on such a gazpacho kick recently that I just had to try this green gazpacho recipe from July’s Bon Appetit magazine. It’s completely different from the traditional red gazapacho, but equally delicious. If you don’t want the soup hot (taste-wise, not temperature-wise) you can reduce the amount of jalapeño or increase the amount of yogurt. But personally, I love a soup with kick!
Green Gazpacho (Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine)
Ingredients
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1½ cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt, divided
½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 oz. ciabatta or country-style bread, crust removed, bread torn into 1” pieces (about 2½ cups) 
1 medium English hothouse cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, cut into large pieces
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
4 large tomatillos (about 12 oz.), husked, quartered
4 scallions, cut into 1” pieces
2 jalapeños, seeds removed, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
Piment d’Espelette or Hungarian hot paprika (for serving)

Preparation
  • Whisk vinegar, lime juice, 1 cup yogurt, and ½ cup oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add bread, cucumber, bell pepper, tomatillos, scallions, jalapeños, garlic, and ¾ tsp. salt and toss to coat (make sure bread is well coated so it can soak up as much flavor as possible). Cover and chill at least 4 hours.
  • Working in batches, purée bread and vegetable mixture in a blender until very smooth; transfer to a large bowl and season gazpacho with salt.
  • Whisk remaining ½ cup yogurt in a small bowl, thinning with water a tablespoonful at a time, until the consistency of heavy cream; season with salt.
  • Serve soup in chilled bowls. Drizzle with thinned yogurt and more oil and sprinkle with piment d’Espelette.
DO AHEAD: Gazpacho can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Mix well before serving.