Gazpacho and waning summer days


I had forgotten how good gazpacho is on a warm summer night.

I had also forgotten how good it is to pull out something prepared ahead to serve at a family meal.

That’s how gazpacho went down on Labor Day weekend when some of my family gathered to say goodbye to summer. I had planned to serve appetizers, gazpacho, salmon, corn on the cob and salad outside on our brick porch. A nearby wasp nest made me change my mind, so we ate in the dining room. It just wasn’t the same.

It’s funny how so many family memories get associated with food. From now on, I’ll probably think of wasps when I make gazpacho, which originated in Southern Spain .

Gazpacho (about six servings)

2 tablespoons of chopped garlic

1/2 cup fresh white bread crumbs (cut off the crusts)

3 cups tomato juice

1 green pepper, finely diced

4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (I used heirlooms, which were pretty ripe)

1/2 a medium red onion, finely diced

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

pepper to taste

2 teaspoons cumin 

1 teaspoon Tabasco

Combine the garlic, bread crumbs, half the tomato juice and half the green pepper, tomatoes, onion and cucumber in the food processor. Puree. Pour into a serving bowl. Add the remaining juice, diced vegetables, oil, vinegar and seasonings to the puree. Stir with a spoon. Your soup will be pretty chunky. 

I chilled the gazpacho overnight, which helped bring out the flavors. 









Janet Cleaveland

Janet Cleaveland

What happens when a retired journalist spends a lot more time in the kitchen than in past years? She tries new dishes and jumps at the chance to write a blog about food, family and good times. My kids are grown now, but I'll be looking back at how they learned to cook, what recipes my husband (the Intrepid One) and I are experimenting with, and how food and conversation make for happy times in the kitchen. I worked for The Columbian for 15 years as a copy editor and another 10 elsewhere, though I didn't start out as a journalist. I thought I wanted to teach English literature. My husband grew up in Clark County, and I've lived here since 1983. My kids have grown and left home. Like my husband of 52 years, our adopted chocolate Lab would never pass up a chance for a tasty meal.

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