Wednesday, June 16, 2010

cold gazpacho on a hotlanta day

Phew, yesterday was HOT! It just came out of nowhere, and looking in my fridge I knew there was only one thing that I wanted to cook, and it certainly didn't involve adding more heat to the house. Thats right: I put together some veggies and made gazpacho.

Gazpacho is a wonderful Spanish treat, because it is easy, healthy, and very refreshing. I used this recipe, and the only revisions that I made were to use fresh tarragon and basil rather than dried. And I used low-sodium tomato juice (biiiiiiig mistake). Also, I used my immersion blender rather than putting everything into a blender. In fact, I would say that my immersion blender is right up there as one of my all-time favorite kitchen must haves (thanks Mom!), just after my pink garlic press (thanks Lisa!).

I must say that my gazpacho did not turn out exactly as I wanted to, and I think it stems from the fact that I used low-sodium tomato juice. I don't know why I did that. The dish really needed the full-salt variety, and after I made the soup and allowed it to chill for two hours it was evident that the dish was missing something. Adding more salt helped, but I think that full-salt tomato juice and maybe also more lemon juice would do wonders for this dish. The fresh basil was a delight, and I will add more next time I make this dish (I only used about two or three large fresh basil leaves).

The world played a lovely trick on me, and just before feasting on gazpacho the heavens opened and we were blessed with one of those huge thunderstorms that produces hail and cools the hot summer air. We switched out electric lights for the many candles Tom keeps around the house (gotta love the guy!), and drank cool white wine and ate cold gazpacho and Italian bread just as the air outside turned cool. Oh well, its the thought that counts right?

That Italian bread was no accident by the way. I have a delicious (I hope) recipe coming up later this week that calls for stale Italian bread, so we ate half of the fresh stuff last night and will use the other half once it gets a little old. I'm trying to embrace the whole "menu planning" thing rather than going to the grocery store every night, so if its ok with you I'm going to give myself one shiny gold star for this little pre-plan of mine.

Anyone have any tips for how my gazpacho could be improved next time? I'd like to have a good recipe in my box, because these hotlanta summers leave me with a need for cool refreshment.

And for the fun post of the day, check out this post: This gal is truly inspirational, and I LOVE the hand-painted knobs, love that she is from Atlanta, love the idea of supporting an independent artist. When I get into redecorating mode, I'll definitely look her up. I'm kind of partial to the orange knobs, what about you?

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