This spring, when planting our vegetable garden we might have gone slightly overboard with the amount of tomato plants we put in the ground. Sixty tiny green spindles which were to eventually produce every colour and every shape within the tomato world. Each one carefully placed in a pile of sheep manure, before being soaked in some sparkling clean limestone well water. Seeing them grow in the warm spring sun was a joy.
This summer, I am pretty sure we’ve been consuming more tomato salads then in our entire lives combined. Not once though did we get tired of them. It really is true luxury to be able to go out in your back yard and pick tomatoes, warm from the sun, and pop them in your mouth. I am totally convinced everything tastes better this way. Home grown.
This fall, as the last of the abundance of tomatoes are ripening Bruno has filled our freezers with his delicious marinara tomato sauce. Quickly cooked tomatoes, carefully pureed, deseeded and skinned, along with a few garden grown green onions, hot peppers and basil.
Along with salads and sauces, a third way to fully enjoy fresh tomatoes is through a Gazpacho. This Spanish classic is always a winner. Beautiful to look at, fresh flavours straight from the garden, a nice kick and bright acidity makes it perfect. Really so simple. I usually serve mine slightly chunky – I like the texture but serving it smooth is fairly common as well. I will leave that decision up to you. Some consider it being more of a summer soup but I have to admit I like it equally as much in the fall, even though it’s served cold. There are loads of versions of Gazpacho online. All slightly different. This version is mine. Enjoy!
900g ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion
3 green onions
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, 1/2 seeded
1 english cucumber, roughly seeded
1/2 cup plain tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
100g stale white bread
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lime
3-4 olives, pitted
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
fresh basil, thinly sliced (chiffonade) for garnish
Place the bread in a bowl and fill with water. Make sure the bread is fully submerged. Set aside for 15-20 min.
Roughly cut the tomatoes, onions, peppers and cucumber into chunks. Add to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients. Break the bread up in smaller pieces and add as well.
Process until preferred texture is reached.
Transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge for at least an hour, ideally over night for flavours to develop.
Serve cold in a glass or a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and fresh herbs.