Last night we had a nice dinner outside, featuring gazpacho, grilled scallops and corn. The simplicity of the meal was perfect for al fresco dining.
When we grill corn we remove almost all of the husk, leaving only one or two layers. This allows the corn to retain it’s moisture, while also allowing the smoky charcoal flavor to permeate. Leave the ears on for maybe 10-12 minutes. The right ear of corn will come off the grill perfectly cooked, moist, smoky, and slightly caramelized.
Now, on to the gazpacho. Like many, my love of gazpacho began in Spain. The country is filled with regional variants on the classic recipe. Make it often enough and you will develop your own recipe, catering to your own preferences and desired quantities. It’s really the easiest thing to make, especially if your kitchen is stalked with summer’s standard ingredients and you have a food processor or blender.
Summer Gazpacho for Two
4 or so tomatoes
2 small or 1 large cuke
1 red pepper roasted and steamed with blackened skin removed
3 slices of stale bread, crusts removed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 a large onion (preferably red)
1 mild green chile of your choice
1/4 cup sherry, cooking sherry, white wine, or vinegar (1/8 cup if using vinegar)
1/4 cup good olive oil
fresh herbs of your choice; I suggest basil and oregano
salt and lots of pepper
1 cup or so water
Core, seed and roughly chop the tomatoes. Peel and chop the cukes. Seed and chop the peppers. Crush and chop the garlic. Chop the onion.
Soak the bread in cold water for a minute or two. Reserve the soaking liquid for the broth.
Squeeze the excess water from the bread and put it into the container of a food processor. Reserve a some chopped tomato, cukes, and herbs for your garnish. Then add all of the remaining vegetables and bread water, and blend until mixed but not completely smooth. With machine running, slowly add the sherry, and then even more slowly, add the olive oil. Throw in the herbs, pulse to mix, and pour into a bowl. If you like, add additional water to achieve your desired consistency.
Liberally add the salt and pepper and chill until dinner time (at least an hour or two). Before serving check the salt and pepper levels, ladle into bowls, add your garnish, and enjoy.