Tomato Love Affair


Karrie SteelySupermarket tomatoes really don't taste or look anything like what tomatoes are supposed to be in their full glory. Think complex, slightly acidic flavors, velvety but firm flesh, ripe seeds nestled in delicious gelatinousness, and fully developed, rich color. That being said, what a wonderful time of year it is now that tomatoes are in season. I've come to look forward to it almost as much as Christmas.

ripening tomatoes

The last few years were poor tomato seasons for me and other gardeners I consulted. But several weeks ago, much to my delight, it became obvious that we were off to a great start as the tomato plants began bursting with flowers. And now that the first tomatoes have gone from a pale rosy glow to deep red divinity, my mind jumps to one of my favorite dishes. Gazpacho.

cherry tomatoes

Most gazpacho recipes I've tried at home or in restaurants were missing that, well, je ne sais quoi. So I set out to create my own. Somewhere along the lines, back in art school while studying ancient Rome, I found the roots of modern gazpacho. It has made its way from the Roman Empire through Spain and into the New World, and there are many variations. The original dish didn't have tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers, since those all came from the Americas. It did start out with stale bread, olive oil, garlic, and sometimes almonds or grapes. I'm sure the Romans added whatever was local and seasonal as well. What most modern American versions of gazpacho have in common are tomato, onion, cucumber and bell pepper, and it is served cold.

My recipe has its roots in the Roman recipe with whole wheat french bread (or almond meal), olive oil and basalmic vinegar, which is then balanced delicately with garden fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, coriander, and poblano chiles. If you like gazpacho, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the texture and depth of this recipe.

9/3/2014 7:56:49 AM

Karrie, Oh, how I love this time of the year when abundant harvest abounds. Recipes for using the harvest pop up every where in blog posts. I have not heard of . It sounds very intriguing. Of course salsa is the rage every where these days with unlimited recipes. Everyone that I know has their own variation of a salsa recipe. It really is an easy way to preserve the gut of tomato harvest for winter consumption. ***** Our tomato harvest here in Nebraska has been less than successful this year due to very abnormally cool temperatures especially at night when tomatoes ripen. My four tomato plants barely kept fresh tomatoes on the table. Gardeners always live with the hope that next year will be better when a bad year hits. ***** Have a great Gazpacho day.

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