Its been quite hot here in LA. While most people think that LA temps hover around 72 degrees year round.. that’s not the case in the summer months! We have been hitting some pretty high temperatures which makes for a warm home (we do not have air conditioning or proper insulation). This poses a bit of an issue with cooking or baking because turning the oven on is the last thing you want to do when your house is already blazing hot. This time of year is when I start relying on crock pot recipes and recipes for foods with minimal cooking.
Yesterday was warm (although not nearly as hot at the weekend and days prior) and I wasnt really in the mood to do much cooking that involved being over the hot stove or turning on the oven for too long.
For some reason I started craving gazpacho. That cold, tomato goodness sounded perfect for a hot evening.
Aaron isnt big on cold meals… so I wanted to make sure there was at least one element to dinner that was warm and “cooked” for him.
The end result was fantastic (and easy!) gazpacho with cheese & herbed toast:
Not only did the gazpacho turn out delicious, but it was SO easy to make and ended up making enough for either 2 dinners or a dinner and 2 lunches. I love that!
(recipe slightly adapted from MattBites.com)
3 large heirloom tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 large green bell pepper
2 tbls red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste
1. chop up the tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper into small pieces (it doesnt have to be perfect!) and throw them into your Vitamix blender (this is the model we have, and love). Add the peeled garlic cloves (they can be whole) and red wine vinegar to the blender and blend until the mixture becomes a smooth liquid.
2. once blended, taste the mixture. Add more red wine vinegar if needed.
3. add the olive oil and salt (depending on how much it needs) and blend again until smooth.
4. taste one final time, and add salt/vinegar if needed.
5. pour mixture into bowl, pitcher, individual Weck jars (as I did), or even Mason Jars. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6. remove from refrigerator and serve. optional: top with diced avocado, sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes, pinch of flaky sea salt, etc. Enjoy!
For the cheese toast– smear a slice of ciabatta or sourdough with a butter-olive oil-herbs of choice mixture (we used cumin, oregano, pepper) and top with muenster cheese. bake until warm/melted and then broil until the cheese bubbles.