Desperate times call for desperate measures. Last Saturday morning I picked 42 lbs of produce from the garden. I got tubs of tomatoes, baskets of beans and crates of cucumbers. Oh the cucumbers, the horror, the horror. There is no way I can pickle them all. I’m eating them, taking them to work, sending them with the Accountant to foist upon her co-workers. I can’t make it stop. I suppose I could tear them out, and may have to before too long if I’m ever to get a winter crop in. But for now I am completely overrun.
And loving it.
Last year I grew a paltry 5 lbs total of cucumbers. Saturday’s harvest of cucumbers was more than three times that amount! Life is good.
But it’s not just cucumbers that afflict me, it is a full range of vegetal goodness. What better way to use it up than gazpacho – that cold Spanish soup of tomato, cucumbers, onions and peppers.
As I was prepping, washing – slicing – dicing the bounty, it struck me. Why go all the way to soup? Why not just dice it up, salt lightly to draw out some liquid, and dress individual portions with olive oil and red wine vinegar. So that’s what I did. I prepped the vegetables Sunday night and let them steep until Monday dinner.
This colorful confetti could not be simpler to make, and during resurgence of summer heat is a welcome, cool and refreshing respite.
Don’t forget the garlic croutons! A bit of crunchy bread is the perfect accompaniment to soak up any juices in the bottom of your bowl.
Here’s what I did.
4 cups (1 L) diced tomatoes
2 cups (500 ml) seeded and diced cucumbers
1 large sweet red pepper seeded and diced – about a cup (250 ml)
1 large sweet yellow pepper seeded and diced – about a cup (250 ml)
1/2 cup (125 ml) diced red onion
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) of cumin (optional)
Red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Flat leaf parsley to garnish (optional)
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil, vinegar and parsley.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days – the vegetables will release some liquid.
- To serve, spoon vegetable mixture into a bowl. Be sure to get some of the liquid that was released.
- Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over the top to taste.
Until next time, Eat Well & Keep Digging.
I just had a thought, you could add a few cups of chopped herbs and this would be spectacular. It wouldn’t be gazpacho so much, but it’d sure be delicious! What about some chopped Kalamata olives? The variations are endless!