Have you ever seen a sloth in action? If not, please block away some time towatch this video. If so, then you have a really good idea of the pace of life in California in summer. It was almost too hot to eat — which, for this girl, is saying a lot. Not even a salad would suffice because the whole thing would just turn into a sad pile of wilted bits before I cold get it to the table.
Days like that are when I make gazpacho. It’s not rocket science. I didn’t invent it. But it’s the only thing I can bare to make when I’m in this slothy state. The one thing I insist you do if you’re going to make gazpacho in my presence (or anywhere near this site) is to macerate the tomatoes before blending them. I know, it requires patience and no one has patience anymore when it comes to cooking but it’s pretty much the only thing you have to do to make this gazpacho, so make it happen. Enough writing from me: I need to go stick my head in the freezer in attempts to cool down and you, go make some gazpacho!
coarsely chopped (reserving juices) (about 8 cups)
plus more for garnish
(about 8 ounces), roughly chopped
(about 8 ounces), stems, ribs and seeds removed, roughly chopped
crust removed, torn into small pieces
Combine tomatoes and reserved juices, oil, sugar, and salt in a large nonreactive bowl, toss to combine, cover, and set aside at room temperature to macerate for as long as you can, at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
Place gazpacho in a bowl and nest in a larger bowl of ice water to chill it quick
Place tomato mixture, cucumbers, bell pepper, garlic, bread, and vinegar in a food processor fitted with a blade and process until well mixed and blended, about 3 minutes. Taste and add more salt, sugar, or vinegar as needed.
Pass gazpacho through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the back of the mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. Place in the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour before serving. Garnish each bowl with a few basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.
Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Flavor will fade so add more vinegar, sugar, or salt as desired before serving.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp