When the heat is on and ripe tomatoes are showing up at the farmer's market its time to make this summer classic. This version gets its kick from chopped jalapeno pepper and a dash or two of Tabasco. If you prefer less heat use Anaheim pepper instead. If heirloom tomatoes are not yet available, use your favorite variety (I like Campari tomatoes) and toss in a handful of cherry tomatoes for sweetness. Based on a recipe from The South Beach Diet's Taste of Summer Cookbook by Arthur Agatston, MD.
Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho (serves 4)
2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, roughly chopped, plus one contrasting tomato for garnish
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1/3 cup parsley leaves
1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
1 small jalepeno, seeded and roughly chopped (or half an Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped)
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash or two of Tabasco sauce
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 fresh lemon
In a blender, combine 2 pounds chopped tomatoes and garlic; puree until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
In the blender, combine cucumber, bell pepper, parsley, onion, jalapeno, and ice; puree to a slightly chunky texture. Add to the bowl with tomato mixture. Stir in oil, vinegar and salt. Transfer gazpacho to a covered container and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
Just before serving add Tabasco to taste. Cut remaining tomato into small dice (or slice four yellow pear tomatos as I did here). Chop 1/2 an avocado into dice and combine with tomato dice. Divide gazpacho among 4 shallow bowls, top with diced tomato/avocado mixture and squeeze a little lemon over each bowl before serving.
Serve with hearty seeded bread and sharp cheddar cheese on the side. Mango-ginger ice pops would be a cooling finale to this meal if you've got time to make them. See this post for ice pops recipe source.