I’ve been wanting to make gazpacho for at least a month now. It’s one of those things I’ve been dying to try but just didn’t feel like I had the time to commit to make it, which was silly really because it’s one of the easiest and least time-consuming recipes I’ve ever made.
It’s also one of the tastiest things I’ve ever made and its vegan and Whole 30 approved.
Why Heirloom Tomatoes
With the bounty of summer vegetables right now you basically can pick a bunch of them and blend. After doing some research, I decided to make a tomato-based gazpacho and not just any tomatoes, but heirloom tomatoes.
Heirloom tomatoes are tomatoes that have been produced through seeds that have been handed down for generations. The seeds are technically the “heirloom” in heirloom tomatoes and some have been in circulation for more than 50 years, according to tomatofest.com.
Heirloom tomatoes have been bread to eliminate the most undesirable characteristics and bolster the positive traits – juiciness, flavor, color, size – that specific farmers enjoyed.
All heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated, meaning they are a product of natural cross-pollination via insects or farmers’ hands. They aren’t genetically modified or created in the same manner as today’s common tomatoes.
Because of this, heirloom tomatoes are not mass produced. With fewer available they often have higher prices than their counterpart tomatoes.
So why would you pay extra for a tomato that looks kind of funny? Simply put, they taste better. There’s something about the way heirloom tomatoes taste that almost seems to have all that history tied up into them. And, I guess they do since the seeds produced from generation to generation are there.
With all those benefits going for them, they seemed like the perfect base for the gazpacho. That said, because you’re using heirloom tomatoes, you might not get the exact same flavor every single time, but I’ll try to get you as close as possible with the recipe below.
I’ve made this a few times now and before adding additional ingredients to try to get the taste closer to your desired taste, let it sit. Give the flavors time to mingle once it’s done before you do things like add additional acids like more lemon juice or sherry. The second time I made this I started adding more sherry right away to change the taste profile since I used smaller heirloom tomatoes and it was way too much. Follow the recipe and then just before serving decide if it needs anything else. I think you’ll find out it’s fine. 🙂
English cucumbers are also used in this recipe. They are sweeter and seem to balance out the acid of the tomatoes better. Make sure to use this kind.
Final note: If you decide to use regular tomatoes for this I don’t stand by the flavor this recipe might produce. Find the Heirlooms. I was able to locate them at Marianos and Jewel (Albertson’s).
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- 4 heirloom tomatoes – 2 very large funny-looking redish/pink ones and 2 medium redish ones. I don’t recommend using the small, circular yellow ones that I have in one of the photographs. I don’t think they produce the best flavor.
- 1 large English cucumber, peel on
- 1 yellow or orange pepper
- ½ a medium-sized red onion
- 2 medium carrots – make sure these aren’t too large.
- 1 ½ tsp. of salt
- 2 tsp. of garlic, pureed
- ½ cup of olive oil
- ¼ cup of sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
- 1 cup of water
- Optional toppings: Chives, parsley, cilantro, cream, pine nuts, etc.
- Wash and chop/dice all your produce. Since nothing going to actually be cooked you need to make sure everything is washed well.
- Add your tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, red onion and carrots to a bowl. Add in your salt and toss everything to coat it.
- Put your bowl in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, add your veggies to the blender with your olive oil, sherry vinegar, garlic and lemon juice. I have to make mine in three batches, so I usually add the garlic and lemon juice all to the first batch and then add olive oil and the sherry vinegar to each batch.
- Blend on liquify.
- Once each batch is done add them to a large bowl. You can leave it as is or if you have an emulsion blender you can use that for a smoother finish as you add in the water.
- Put back in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- Remove from the refrigerator and add additional salt and pepper as needed. Make sure you mix it well and take a few bites before adding anything though. You really shouldn’t need much due to the flavors of all the vegetables.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! I’ve made it again, so I can eat it for lunch every day this week. 🙂 Happy eating, friends.