Now that you are harvesting the fruits of your labors out in your garden, I've got but one word for you: Gazpacho.
I don't know of an easier, healthier, more refreshing summertime meal! Paired with crusty artisan bread and some broiled goat cheese, this meal is effortlessly chic! There are so many ways to make gazpacho. Some like it chunky, some like it pureed. I personally, like a combination of both. I also like to forgo using a recipe...as experimentation produces great combinations. Here are the basics of how I make mine:
From the garden (or grocery store):
- 6 tomatoes
- 1 small zucchini, divided
- 1 yellow bell pepper, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, divided
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 English cucumber, divided
- small sprig of fresh basil
- a few leaves of mint
From the Pantry:
- 1/2 tsp of dried tarragon
- red wine vinegar (to taste, but I'd say I used about 1/8 cup)
- a splash or two dry white wine
- sea salt
- cracked pepper
From the freezer:
- 1/2 cups frozen cooked and peeled shrimp
- diced avocados
- chopped cilantro
- goat cheese
1. Using a blender, combine all vegetables, saving 1/2 yellow pepper, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 zucchini, 1/2 cucumber. The "chop" function on my blender was enough to puree all the veggies. (If you place the tomatoes in first, your blender will be much more amiable to chopping it all up for you!)
2. Add salt, pepper, spices, vinegar, and wine to taste. I usually taste and pulse several times before I get it just right.
3. Finely chop remaining peppers, zucchini and cucumber.
4. Combine contents of blender and chopped veggies in a storage container. If using shrimp, add frozen shrimp, and store in refrigerator overnight.
5. The next day: shrimp will be thawed and all veggies flavors incorporated.
Serve chilled with desired optional garnishes, some crusty bread, and a backyard full of friends.