OH GAZPACHO, how I love (to reinvent) thee....

August 5, 2014 | Posted by Christine Sanchez

Few ingredients spell summer better than a ripe tomato if you ask me. And on a hot summer day, a delicious, cool Gazpacho made from August tomatoes is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to enjoy them.

Sure, I love a perfectly simple tomato sandwich, an heirloom tomato salad with burrata and basil or a killer BLT on excellent bread. But there is something magical that happens when you combine gorgeously ripe tomatoes with some crunchy bits of cucumber and bell peppers, some zippy garlic and red onion. It comes together in such a harmonious way; so flavorful and fresh, so healthy and satisfying that I find myself reinventing ways to eat it nonstop for lunch and dinner until the batch is gone.

Eating it straight up is of course the favored way (rightfully so) but trust me, spooning it over a nicely seared piece of fish or grilled chicken, folding it into chick peas for a tasty side dish, tossing into pasta for a quick take on a pasta salad, or using it as a fresh salsa to be served with tortilla chips and some homemade guacamole all work fabulously.

Gazpacho originates from the southern region of Andalucia in Spain and typically features tomatoes, garlic, chopped raw vegetables as well as stale bread, vinegar and olive oil. In my version (check it out here) I omitted the bread to make an even lighter version but certainly one could add a few slices of staled bread if they wanted to. I love the freshness that chopped parsley brings as well as the addition of chopped tarragon, which brings a nice licorice-like floral note into the dish. Certainly one could leave it out if they prefer.

Aside from peeling some tomatoes (easy to do, see my quick video here) and some chopping (tell yourself it can be quite zen) gazpacho comes together quickly and is completely worth it. Stored in the refrigerator with a tight fitting lid, it will keep for about 5 (delicious) days.