July 18, 2013
Heirloom Gazpacho with Grapefruit and Basil [Recipe]
Everyone says exactly the same thing when they taste this gazpacho.
“Oh-my-God.” (And there’s also a large number who follow up with, “and I don’t even like gazpacho.”)
Well, they’re right. This is God’s work. I can hardly take the credit. I didn’t create the molecular perfection of sweet and succulent heirloom tomatoes which grace us with their presence on Planet Earth and are the flavor stars of this gazpacho. I don’t even know how to grow tomatoes and even if I tried, I’d probably find a way to fudge them up. I do however know how to shop for them. If you don’t make it a point to buy heirloom tomatoes in the summer, you should start. This is the perfect recipe to begin with.
Now that said, let me tell you what I do get credit for:
One, I consulted the Spaniards for specific recipe ideas. I learned to use sherry vinegar which is delicate and adds only a mild zing. Two, I omitted the use of bell pepper which would overpower the flavor of the sublime heirlooms and would also make this summer soup hard to digest. Three, I decided to purée half and finely chop the other half of the ingredients (done in a cuisinart) to create the perfect smooth and crunchy texture. Four, I called for the yellow tomato to be chopped by hand so it can add a gorgeous bright color to the soup. And five, the idea to garnish with grapefruit and basil could almost make me a genius. I mean it does make me a genius.
And still, with all that self-praise intact, truly, this gazpacho is God’s work. Her ingredients need only to be respected in order to create a gazpacho worth revering.
Want to take cooking classes with Elana in Los Angeles? Go to mealandaspiel.com.