A Late Summer Requirement: Smokey Gazpacho with Almonds

Intended as a first course, our gazpacho is also superb as part of a picnic buffet or a side dish, as above, with rice and beans.

(above): The gazpacho keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days, adding interest to leftover lunches - with black eye peas and greens, millet, baba ghanoush and marinated cucumbers. This is another one that requires only a blender and a few minutes from your day: add to a blender around 1 lb. of chopped tomatoes, any kind along with 1 peeled and seeded Kirby cucumber, 1/2 red bell pepper (chopped), 1/2 small onion (chopped), 2 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1/3 cup blanched almonds (if you're feeling flush why not luxuriate with roasted Marcona almonds? We didn't but sure the results would be spectacular.), 3 T. olive oil, 2 T. sherry or red wine vinegar, a large pinch or two of smoked paprika and salt and black pepper to taste. Puree and allow to chill for two hours or more before serving cold in chilled  bowls or glasses. Sometimes we like a sweet touch to our gazpacho at Cafe Drake HRV and accordingly, substitute an aged balsamic for the sherry vinegar as well as adding a drizzle of honey to the blender ingredients. Prepare the same way but serve with a fine sprinkle of coarse finishing salt on each serving.


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