Seasonal Flavors: Gazpacho

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by Elena Day

It is hopeful that September will mark the end of this summer’s heat, although the humidity continues to hover at 90 percent this first week of my favorite month.  Traveling rural roads one notes the purple ironweed and the pinkish Joe Pye weed, red cardinal flower in moist ditches, numerous grasses of varied hues seeding, the golden rod and, of course, all the bright yellow composites. I prefer the tall stands of Jerusalem artichoke and the glowingly yellow tickseed, but even the stickweed and its cousin wingstem, the bane of all pastured animal farmers, is appealing.

In keeping with nature’s theme of “mixing it up” for us visually, I’ve chosen a quick mix recipe for this month. Gazpacho was popular 30 or so years ago when the counterculture was beginning its exploration of diversity in cuisine. I always connect it with Sangria (a Spanish wine punch) in my memory bank. Both, of course, are from the Iberian Peninsula.

Gazpacho

  • 4 cups tomato juice or pureed 
  • tomatoes (without seeds or skins)
  • 1 small minced onion
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (with skins and seeds)
  • 1 chopped green, red or yellow pepper
  • 1 diced cucumber
  • 1-2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chopped basil 
  • ¼ to ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste

All ingredients are combined and chilled. Serve with some good crusty bread from one of our local bakeries.