Friday, May 13, 2011

The first gazpacho of the season

The weather here in Canada's capital this week was glorious. Temperatures hovered around 20, it was sunny with a light breeze. My neighbour J and I recently bought bikes, I call mine Jean Bean the Flying Machine:

Isn't she glorious? Neighbour J and I coincidently work together. On the Dark Side. Monday morning she texted me at 7:00am asking if I wanted to bike to work. Ok, let's do it. Her bike is the same 7-speed cruiser as Jean Bean, only in PINK. It's a 20-minute ride across the river to our cubicles. On day three, after making a previous-night's trip to the supermarket, it was time for the first gazpacho of the season.

Gazpacho, you say. It's a cold, tomato based soup from the south of Spain. It is an essential at lunch during summer in Andalusia, often served in a glass. If it is served in a bowl, you sometimes have the option of toppings, like chopped up veggies, to sprinkle on top. Not to mention piquitos, which are small breadsticks. I learned a lot during my time in Spain; Spanish should probably be listed as the most significant. How to make a mean gazpacho is a close second. Spanish J and I spent many hours, tomatoes and assorted vegetables in our attempts to get the perfect blend of flavour and texture. For BBQs we would make 3+ litres of the stuff, and it would be gone with our friends asking for more. I am now attempting that amazingness in the Magic Bullet. Single serving fresh gazpacho? Yes, please!

You can see the morning light coming through the kitchen window in this prep shot:

A list of what you see in that mug:

2 tomatoes, quartered
1/4 red pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, cut into chunks
a hearty dose of olive oil
a healthy splash of red wine vinegar
a dash of salt
cold water, to the top of the glass

Put the blade on, and zap until smooth. Result:

For the first time, I employed the Magic Bullet cover. This is where the bike comes in. I then put the gazpacho into that cute wicker basket you see on the front of Jean Bean, and rode to work. It all sounds so romantic, right? Much nicer than something like: "I packed my lunch in some Tupperware and ate it on the Dark Side."

Gazpacho makes the world a brighter place. Or maybe it's the sunshine that allows for the maturing of rich, flavourful tomatoes that can be made into yummy lunches. Add some tinto de verano in there, and you may as well have yourself a day at the beach!

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