Archive for September, 2009

Gazpacho Romesco

End of summer means oodles of tomatoes.  So here is a recipe to use some of that victory garden bonanza.  This was inspired by my time spent in Madrid which pushed me to make Romesco sauce.  Romesco is a sauce of fire roasted tomatoes, onion, red pepper, nora chile, and garlic.  It is seasoned with red wine vinegar and pimenton (smoked sweet paprika).  The other cool thing about it is that to thicken, it uses ground almonds.  I have made Romesco sauce before using a recipe from Jose Andres.

A summertime favorite is a traditional Spanish cold soup, gazpacho.  Gazpacho has a combination of tomato, onion, cucumber, tomato paste, garlic, herbs, olive oil, vinegar and cayenne.  For a nice textural play, you should only puree part of the soup.  To thicken, dry bread is traditionally used.  My favorite recipe for gazpacho comes from Thomas Keller’s, The French Laundry Cookbook.

Since I loved both of these, I decided to combine and hence, Gazpacho Romesco.  It is a nice combination of the ultra fresh flavors of traditional  gazpacho and the roasted  smokey flavor of Romesco.  I also favored Sherry vinegar over white vinegar from the Romesco recipe for added zing.

Another tip, use a food mill to process your tomatoes easily.  A few grinds and you have fresh tomato puree without seeds or skin.  Otherwise it is boil and cold-shock the tomato to remove the skin, cut and de-seed.  Tons of work!  A food mill is a great friend.

Gazpacho Romesco

10 medium tomatoes (proceess through a food mill or skinned and seeded)

1 med. sweet onion

1 large red pepper

1 english cucumber

1/4 plus 2 tbsp cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic *crushed and diced.

1 sprig rosemary

3 Tbsp Sherry vinegar

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp Pimenton (Smoked Sweet Paprika)

2 tsp cayenne

1/4 cup almonds

Dry bread, crust removed.  As needed.

Kosher Salt *to taste


Preheat oven to 485 degrees F.

In a roasting pan, place 4 tomatoes (halved), onion (halved), red pepper (halved and seeded), drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Place roasting pan on upper most rack.  Let the ingredients roast for 5 min.   Check on vegetables and turn if required for even roasting.  Let roast another 5 minutes. The red pepper skin should blacken as much as possible.  The tomatoes should also blacken if possible.  Remove from oven.  Place tomatoes and red pepper into a ziploc bag and close.  Wait for 15min.  The steam should allow the skins to be easily removed.  Remove  skins from red pepper and tomatoes.

Chop onion and cucumber to fine dice and place in seal-able container.  Chop red pepper to fine dice and and to the seal-able container.  Process roasted tomatoes through the food mill.  Process fresh tomatoes through food mill.  Add olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, pimenton, vinegar, lemon juice, sprig of rosemary and cayenne.  Stir to combine.  Refrigerate over night.

When ready to finish the soup, roast almonds in a dry pan.  Set aside to cool.

Remove half of the soup to a separate container.  Remove and discard the rosemary sprig.  Using an immersion blender process soup.  Add almonds and continue processing to a smooth puree.  For a thicker base, add some dry bread.  Add puree back to reserved soup.

To server, plate into small chilled bowls.  Garnish with a little olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

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