Note: Interspersed with pictures of food are photos from our globe-trotting Andrew – at the bottom of the post is my favorite
May 1 – May 7, 2023
Monday: Pantry Pasta – Left-over roast chicken, spaghetti, parmesan, peas
Tuesday: Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese
Wednesday: Polpettone Alla Toscana with Polenta
Thursday: Wedge Salad – Leftover Meatloaf
Friday: Rigatoni with Tomato Sauce
Saturday: Leftover Pasta with Meatballs and Polenta
Sunday: Tarragon Roasted Chicken, Polenta, Salad
Out of Sync Gazpacho
Why out of Sync? Because last week was quite chilly in Pittsburgh and we cooked homey, hot meals. But now, at last, it’s warm in Pittsburgh. I think we’ve used the fireplace for the last time until Fall. And so, I feel empowered to offer you something we cooked on April 21st, during a previous warm spell – a great summer dish from the great Ina Garten; Easy Gazpacho. It’s too late for Cinco de Mayo this year, but if it’s warm enough, you’ll want to trot this out to accompany your tacos and salsa next year. In the meantime, this is a great vegetarian dinner for any time of year. Use the goat cheese toasts Ina recommends or invent your own accompanying crostini, toss in a glass of wine or a martini (or some tequila) and you will have the perfect Friday night dinner (if you’re a nostalgic Catholic) – or any night dinner, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.
Another great feature of this dish – I look for this particularly on Friday and Monday nights – is that there is little cleanup involved after dinner, and just as little preparation beforehand. You might call this a cook’s-night-off kind of dish, the kind of dish I am increasingly drawn toward when the days grow long and it’s a struggle to entomb yourself indoors to cook.
Finally, Beez loves gazpacho and is always asking me to make it, and this is an easy way to make her happy. And that makes me, and, I hope, you, happy.
Ina Garten’s Easy Gazapacho
(very slightly modified)
4 hours and 15 minutes to overnight (15 minutes chopping and processing, plus another 10 minutes to make goat cheese croutons – most of the time is for letting the gazpacho flavors develop)
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained – Ina uses San Marzano, we did as well
¼ seedless cucumber, seeds removed – don’t peel (we used maybe ½ of a sizeable cucumber)
1 large red onion
6 garlic cloves (we used 3 large cloves)
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup good olive oil, plus more for toasts and drizzling
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (we used a mounded ½ teaspoon)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ cups tomato juice, preferably Sacramento (we used Campbell’s)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese, such as Montrachet (we don’t like the garlicky stuff – I use plain goat cheese which I ‘herb up’ with dried oregano, salt, pepper and minced thyme leaves)
Make the Gazpacho:
Cut the tomatoes, scallions, cucumber and onion into large pieces and place in a food processor. Add the garlic and pulse until the soup is coarsely puréed. This will take more than a few pulses – you don’t want to leave any large pieces of cucumber, onion or tomato.
Put in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight. (We chilled for 4 hours and the gazpacho was great – but we had plenty left over and it was greater the second day.)
Make the Goat Cheese Croutons
Preheat broiler and place top rack 5-7 inches from broiler.
Cut diagonal slices from the baguette and place on a sheet pan, brush with olive oil and broil for about 2 minutes on one side – you’ll want to watch this. Broilers vary in heat and you may need only 90 seconds. Now turn the toasts over, spread with the goat cheese and broil for another minute or so to warm the cheese and toast the bread.
Ladle soup into large bowls and serve with goat cheese crouton and a drizzle of olive oil. (Beez eschews the drizzle*)
*I’m pretty sure “eschews the drizzle” has never made it into print before.
One thought on “Out of Sync Gazpacho”
Andrew,I love your pictures, and we would love a travelogue upon your return😎. Bill, we are getting ready for gazpacho too , looks delicious !
Thank you always! 🐇💕💙