Since tomatoes are the star of gazpacho, reserve this recipe for when they are at their peak!
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 cups cucumber, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 cups red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1-3/4 cups red onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons sea salt, divided
2 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into small pieces
1/2 cup OLIVE & VINE extra virgin olive oil (for a spicier version, try our Baklouti Chili Pepper infused olive oil)
2 tablespoons OLIVE & VINE Sherry Reserva vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
OLIVE & VINE infused balsamic vinegar such as Sicilian Lemon, Savory Oregano or Jalapeno Piquant (optional)
fresh basil, cut in chiffonades, to garnish (optional)
Place the tomatoes, cucumbers, red bell peppers, onion, garlic, and serrano chile in a 4-quart container. Add 2-1/2 teaspoons salt and toss to combine. Add the bread pieces and toss again. Allow ingredients to macerate at least 30 minutes.
Puree the tomato mixture in a blender in two batches. For each batch, blend for 30 seconds, then drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil with motor running. Blend until completely smooth, then transfer to a 4-quart container. Stir in sherry vinegar, black pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Adjust seasonings, if necessary. Chill completely and serve cold. Just before serving, add a drizzle of infused balsamic vinegar and garnish with basil if desired.
Adapted from Lynette Hawkins, Giacomo's.