Gazpacho is a classic summer dish originating from Andalucía in Southern Spain.  A peasant dish made with basic ingredients it is best made in the height of summer when the main ingredients are at their ripest and most flavoursome.  Served chilled it is a refreshing dish on a hot summer evening.

100g slightly stale crusty white bread (I used Volare Sourdough)
1kg very ripe tomatoes, diced
2 red capsicums, deseeded and diced
1 medium cucumber, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
150ml extra virgin olive oil
2tbsp sherry vinegar*
Salt, to taste

Soak the bread in cold water for 20 minutes.
Squeeze out the bread and add to the diced tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber, crushed garlic and olive oil in a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth, and then add the salt and vinegar to taste and stir well.
Pass the mixture through a fine sieve, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled.

Serve with a couple of bagel crisps or homemade crostini topped with an avocado salsa.

To make the avocado salsa simply mix equal quantities of chopped avocado, capsicum, cucumber, tomato and red onion.

*You can find Sherry Vinegar at good food stores like Dante’s Fine Foods in Cambridge, otherwise simply use red wine vinegar.

Gazpacho served in shot glasses also make a great canapé and are a wonderful way to start a summer dinner party or BBQ!


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