Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Gazpacho: the perfect food for summer mamas

 
Gazpacho. It's soup that looks like salsa. Served cold.

Cold salsa soup.

Before you turn your nose up in disgust and jet out of here to seek the unimaginative refuge that is Campbell's Tomato Soup, let me be clear: gazpacho is delicious.

Not a little delicious, a LOT delicious. I've decided it's the ideal meal for mamas in the summer and I intend to prove it with the following manifesto. Listen well.



Three reasons why gazpacho is the perfect food for the summer mama:

1.)  Every single ingredient screams "SUMMER!!" aggressively into your face. Fresh tomatoes? Check. Summer zucchini? Check. Cucumber? check. Sunshine? Check. Your garden in a bowl of joy? Check. You can find everything you need (minus the extras, like vinegar and olive oil) at your local farmers market. For me, this means a morning of sunny shopping, meeting local growers, and listening to some old dudes rock out bluegrass-style to "The Times They Are A-Changin'." Perfection.

"I AM SUMMER! EAT ME!" -Gazpacho

2.)  If you have a food processor, a knife, fingers, and a brain in your head then you can make a big batch of this stuff in about 20 minutes. That's less than HALF the time it will take your child to watch an Elmo's World DVD so you'll still have a good 30 minutes to check your Facebook, paint your nails, lay in bed thinking deep thoughts, or finish the laundry (except don't choose that last one because it's no fun).

"If I finish this bowl before Mr. Noodle trips on that banana peel, then I'll have plenty of time to text my BFF about whether I should get bangs or not." -M.E. (the answer is no, by the way)

3.)  Most people in your house will refuse to eat it. Stick with me on this one. I know this may sound like a drawback but, in our house at least, it's the best part. Usually, if a recipe claims to "serve 4-6" then I know it will be gone in a matter of minutes around these parts. Yes, I only have one child and no, I don't have multiple husbands but the boys in my house dive into food like Oliver-Twist orphans dive into gruel-- and they always ask for more. Simeon has been known to grab my wrist mid-bite and attempt to divert my fork full of chicken, or casserole, or rice into his own mouth. It's a wonder I haven't starved to death. But when it comes to gazpacho, both boys are decidedly hands-off-no-thank-you-get-that-mess-away-from-me. This means I eat my lunch in peace. Each bite is an exquisite spoonful of undisturbed heaven.

Simeon reacts to his first bite of gazpacho.


Now that you're thoroughly convinced that you must try gazpacho and you must try it NOW, let me recommend a recipe. Ree Drummond of Pioneer Woman fame has put together what I believe is the best gazpacho recipe in all the land (I should mention that my Grandma Frances has a pretty great recipe too but, honestly Grandma--if you're reading this--you really should try Ree's because it will change your life).

The Pioneer Woman's Gazpacho

(FYI-- I usually up the amount of salt, vinegar, and Tabasco quite a bit because I like it zingy. She serves hers with a fancy grilled bread but croutons work just as well if you want to save time.)

Happy eating!




((I love to cook but I get a bit lazy during the school year since I don't get home until I'm already half starved. Summer is my time to really have fun in the kitchen.))
So what's your go-to summer meal? Link to recipes if you can. I would love to try something new!




7 comments:

  1. Pork chops - marinade in soy sauce (1/2 c.-ish), garlic (3-4 cloves smashed up), honey (2-ish tbsp), salt, pepper, lemon juice (1 Tbsp-ish). If I'm too lazy/busy to marinade, I either just sprinkle with seasoning salt and pepper OR brush with honey mustard. Grill. 5 min on one side. While that's grilling, snap a pound or so of asparagus and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and throw 3 potatoes in the microwave to "bake". Put asparagus on grill, flip pork chops and cook for 5 more minutes. Boom. Dinner is served. We eat this at least once a week as soon as grilling season hits.

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    1. YES! Thank you! That sounds delicious. Must try.

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  2. I usually don't groove on gazpacho because really, let's blend it up, add booze, and call it a Bloody Mary. BUT. Since I have come around so strongly on guacamole, maybe I should give it another shot. I'm a HUGE fan of tomato/goat cheese tarts in the summertime.

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    1. That tart is so pretty! My family is not fond of tomatoes so this may be another one I don't have to share :)

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  3. Ree also makes the best Chicken Parmigiana ever. She makes her own marinara sauce which is simple and delicious. May not be a summer time meal but it is good.

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    1. I'll have to check that out! I love her chicken spaghetti too!

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  4. Bam--husband just asked what he could make for dinner next week!

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