Though my smallish frame might indicate otherwise, my eyes are often bigger than my stomach. And so it is that in summertime I kind of overbuy produce. Everything looks so good at the farmers’ market and, list be damned, I tend to get a little carried away. It’s clearly a seasonal problem; I mean, it’s not like I buy too many butternut squashes.
Which brings me to this idea: garbage gazpacho. As in, use-up-the-nearly-rotting-produce gazpacho. Today at lunchtime I discovered half a tomato and half a cucumber from my tiny garden getting soft in the rot drawer. On the kitchen counter sat two tomatoes that were beginning to blemish. A rummage in the fridge turned up part of a sweet spring onion, a whole cucumber (surprisingly in good shape) and a red bell pepper that I bought last week for a recipe that I’d forgotten to make. Guess what? Gazpacho.
There are a bazillion recipes for gazpacho on the internet. Feel free to try one of those; this is not one of them. This recipe is simply a matter of necessity, and it demonstrates how easy it is to make your own version of gazpacho. Try the recipe below, or make up your own. As long as you have the two key ingredients—tomato and cucumber—you’re set. Add onion/scallion/garlic. Olive oil. A slice of stale bread if that’s how you roll. (HA!) Bell or jalapeño pepper. Tomato juice is a fine addition if you have it, but completely unnecessary. Top each serving with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or a drizzle of olive oil or a pinch of chopped parsley or all three of these. Whatever.
2 to 3 medium ripe tomatoes (red or yellow), chopped
2 Tbsp. diced sweet summer onion (or more to taste)
1 clove garlic (or more to taste)
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 red or green bell pepper
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
Dump all the vegetables into a blender and pulse on ‘puree’ until the texture is to your satisfaction. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil and lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper; puree briefly to combine.