Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Tomatoes. In Season. Fresh. Bountiful. So today's recipe is Tomato-Cucumber Gazpacho. Once you assemble the few ingredients, it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare. I like to make it about 2 hours ahead of meal time, to let the flavors spend some time together and come to an agreement.
Makes 8 very generous servings.
2 pounds of very ripe tomatoes - roughly chopped
1 pound cucumber, don't peel them - roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper - roughly chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup diced red onion
Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree. Done. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Pour into a glass bowl and cover. I like to refrigerate mine. Tomatoes lose some of their flavor when you cool them down, so you might chose to serve this immediately.
How did the day go?
It started with hot buckwheat cereal, brown sugar and rice milk. A bowl of cherries. If you haven't been eating cherries for the last couple of weeks, you are missing a treat. It's stone fruit season. Peaches, plums and cherries abound.
The Dutchman taught me how to make salad. He had spent some time in a prison camp and didn't waste food. At lunch time it was his habit to make a salad and it was at his table that I first had a cold boiled potato cut up into my green salad. Now I put strange things in my salad too. Greens and whatever leftovers I find in the refrigerator become lunch. Today it was leftover green peas, some sliced grapes, a couple of yellow cherry tomatoes from the garden, herbs (sage, dill, basil, thyme and sweet marjoram), boiled potato and walnuts. Oil and vinegar dressing. Some blue corn chips and I called it lunch.
The gang came over for dinner. We started with gazpacho (see above), artisans bread, green salad and for the main course black beans with jasmine brown rice, cooked in rice milk and pico de gallo. The black bean/rice/pico de gallo is a pretty dish I must say. If I hadn't been so last minute getting things to the table, I would have taken a picture. But let me try to show it to your imagination. The outside of the platter is a ring of black beans - I add a bunch of veggies to mine - onion, red pepper, garlic, celery, jalapeno pepper and cumin. The ring inside the black beans is the rice, nice contrast - can you see it? And in the center, the fresh pico de gallo - tomato, jalapeno pepper, green onion, cucumber, lime juice, salt and pepper.
The grand finale - Hula brought her vegan peach and apple pies for dessert.
We sat around like a bunch of stuffed vegans for a couple of hours. Sighing and yawning, blood pulsing with nutrition. We learned a couple of secrets about each other, and solved a few world problems. A full stomach loosens the tongue, or maybe it was the beer. Better than having a vegan day is sharing a vegan day with friends.

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