Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Cold Dish for a Hot Night

 

HALLIE EPHRON: As I’m typing this, my weather app is predicting 90+ degrees. And I’m looking at a food-stained page I tore out of a McCALL'S (remember when there were magazines in the dentist office?) a VERY long time ago.


I usually haul this clipping from my SOUPS folder in the heat of summer, and remind myself how to make GAZPACHO. Especially good at this time of year when fresh tomatoes and green peppers and basil are readily available from our farmer’s market.

And no cooking needed. No fancy ingredients. Just a contraption to zhuzz it all up in.

The blender I once used to make gazpacho in is long deceased, but a food processor or smoothie blender work fine, though you might have to puree in batches.

Here’s my adaptation of the recipe…

PILE these ingredients into your food processor (or blender or smoothie maker) and puree (OR blend in batches)--

  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1/2 large cucumber pared and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 medium onion peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 medium green pepper, quartered and seeded
  • 2 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of V-8 juice

Pour the puree into a large bowl and mix in…
  • 2 1/2 cups more of V-8 juice
  • 1/4 cup more of light olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp siracha (or Tabasco)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pepper to taste

REFRIGERATE until well chilled.

CHOP additional veggies and mix them into the puree:
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 cucumber)


Ladle into serving bowls and top each serving with a sprinkling of  

  • chopped fresh chives and basil.


Serve with homemade croutons if you can stand to make them.

PS you can substitute tomato juice for V8.

What are your go-to cold dishes for hot nights?

58 comments:

  1. On very hot days, having something that requires no cooking is much appreciated . . . thanks for the recipe.

    Sometimes we just have sandwiches, but mostly we’re salad [or sushi] people when it’s too hot to cook. Bleu Cheese Chicken Salad is one of our favorites . . . .

    Chop two cups cooked chicken; crumble four slices cooked bacon. Add diced cucumber, green pepper, and carrots [about half a cup each]. Season with Garlic Pepper. Stir in half a cup or so of chunky bleu cheese salad dressing. Top each serving with bleu cheese crumbles . . . .

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    1. Ooooh, that sounds so good! And what a good idea for what to do with leftovers from a supermarket-roasted chicken. Is there a brand of bleu cheese dressing that's any good? They all taste too mayonnaise-y for my taste. But then I LOVE blue cheese.

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    2. It’s so easy I usually make my own chunky dressing, Hallie . . .

      Combine 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well-blended and creamy. Add enough milk to thin to the desired consistency. Stir in 1/4 cup bleu cheese crumbles or more, to taste.
      [If you want, omit the mayonnaise and make the dressing using 1/2 cup sour cream.]
      If you prefer a creamier dressing, add the bleu cheese in the beginning and blend it in with the other ingredients.

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  2. I make a similar gazpacho, but it's old people's gazpacho with no basil (I'm allergic), no srirarcha or hot peppers (did I mention I'm old), yellow _rather than green (same reason), and low sodium tomato juice to start with, so that I can control the salt content. And since the day I didn't quite fasten the blender lid tightly enough and had to wash the ceiling, only the immersion blender will do.

    My (grandmother used to serve cold beet borcht with sour cream all summer-- no cooking if you use use canned beets as your base. (She didn't; I do.) There are also spinach borscht, schav, and Vichysioise.

    But when I used to have a house with a patio, I grilled out all summer, or ordered pizza delivery, or made big salads. I'm big on big salads.

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    1. Ellen, too funny about the blender! I can relate.

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    2. Ha ha ha! I have some red spatter on my ceiling, too. Put that in a mystery novel. Blood spatter? They take it to the lab and it comes back tomato sauce.

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    3. I’ve done that with cake batter in the mixer, all over the place. The dog loved it!

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    4. Sorry, Joyce W. here with the happy dog. Love cold soup too, that sounds amazing.

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  3. Ah, delicious. I might withhold the salt - V8 can be very salty.

    On hot days and for summer gatherings, I like to make the no-lettuce Greek salad I learned from my Greek friend Marios.
    In a wide flat serving dish, halve cherry tomatoes (preferably Sun Gold and a purple variety). Add 1/2-inch cubed cucumber, 1/2-inch cubed feta cheese, pitted Kalamata olives, and a bunch of fresh oregano leaves. Drizzle all over with good olive oil. and toss to mix. Serve with crusty bread to sop up the delicious juices!

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    Replies
    1. I mae a first cousin to that... especially good now since the oregano is about the only thing in my garden that's thriving.

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    2. When we visited Greece, that was a very popular salad. I love it and make it a lot because it is so easy!

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    3. Edith, they have a low salt V8 now, it’s just as tasty. Joyce W. :-)

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  4. Sorry for the typos; I kept dropping the phone.

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  5. Whenever gazpacho is mentioned, I think of a scene in a film (I think it was Spanish) that I watched with my stepmother. It was hot. They made gazpacho. Everyone would taste the gazpacho and add more vodka. It was a running joke throughout. So, Hallie, no vodka?

    Oh, great news, it rained here all afternoon yesterday!!

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    Replies
    1. I've researched gazpacho and there are a gazillion different versions. Even white. Made with bread, almonds, cucumbers, grapes, olive oil, and garlic. And there's no cream/milk like mine, or creamy. And and and...

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    2. Wow, Judy, you were lucky to get rain! There was nothing down here. My sister, who is a little north of you, reported that it was pouring at her house.

      Hope to see you at Barnes and Noble later.

      DebRo

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    3. Judy, I think I remember that movie. It had a very young Antonio Banderas in it?

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    4. Yes, Deb, driving to Milford soon.
      Pat, I am not sure who was in it. Very famous director, Almodovar?

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  6. Silver Palate cookbook egg salad with dill, Mediterranean chicken salad, or tarragon chicken salad. The egg salad has Hellman's mayo, sour cream, and dijon mustard.

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    Replies
    1. Fresh or dried tarragon? They're so different... Going to look up that egg salad.

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    2. Dried tarragon plus creme fraiche, sour cream and mayo.

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    3. Love the Silver Palate cookbooks.

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  7. Homemade hummus made in the food processor: canned chickpeas, garlic, tahini, salt, bit of water to thin out. Eat with raw veggies (carrots, cucumber, red pepper) and good bread.

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    Replies
    1. This was going to be my entry --except the beans are cooked in an instant pot -- now I have to come up with something else.

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    2. Mmmm... honemade hummus. So much better than store-bought and SOOO inexpensive. I also like to cut pita bread into triangles and toast it in the oven (defeats the purpose of a cold dish, I now) -- freshly toasted even store-bought pita is so delicious.

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  8. I'm a chicken salad girl - as in a green salad with shredded chicken. Sometimes its chicken I cooked in the InstaPot (yay, no heat!) or I occasionally get a container of shredded rotisserie chicken from my grocery store. For the salad I use whatever is at hand: dark greens, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, cukes, chopped walnuts, fresh fruit, croutons, chopped bell peppers have all made contributions over the years.

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    1. So good! I'd serve with a favorite dressing - olive oil, balsamic vinegar, some sugar, and crumbled blue cheese. (Sugar is essential... unless you have modena balsamic which IS sweet)

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    2. Oh yes, I forgot the cheese. I've used blue cheese, feta, and fresh mozzarella. And a variety of light dressings.

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  9. Nothing too fancy here: cold chicken cooked earlier or big salads with cold meat or tuna salad (with granny smith apple and celery and a little dill), fresh fruit. I haven't made gazpacho. These days you have to be careful. None of us wants the gazpacho police.

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    1. OOPS... I make a chicken salad with apple chunks, celery, mayo, lemon (or lime) juice, and CURRY POWDER. So good.

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  10. Good crusty bread spread with boursin/gournay cheese (scallion and chive flavor is good), top with smoked salmon. Coleslaw on the side.
    Note - it is salty with the smoked salmon, so not great for those watching salt intake.
    Lots of great ideas here. And thank you, Hallie, for the reminder to make gazpacho. Our garden is overflowing with peppers and tomatoes.

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    1. Reminding me of a wonderful recipe I have for a Bruschetta - topping for toasted rounds of french bread - Smoke salmon (chopped up)! Pine nuts(lightly toasted)! Mozarella bits. Tomato bits. Shredded basil. Olive oil. S&P to taste. I'm probably leaving out an ingredient or two, but you get the drift.

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  11. I make a version of gazpacho from a recipe a friend shared a bazillion years ago (thanks, Marilyn!). No processing--just chopped veggies etc, refrigerate until the flavors develop, add some good bread, and yum!

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    1. What's the base? Tomato juice?

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    2. Hallie, it depends on how juicy the tomatoes are--you can use tomato juice, canned diced tomatoes, bouillon-- I've always just used fresh tomatoes with tomato juice if necessary. My mom used to provide canned tomatoes from her garden.

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  12. A few summers back I went on a ceviche kick, had it for almost every lunch. I searched the internet for different recipes and enjoyed most of them. This summer we are a bit more burned out on Nome Street. I will roast a hunk o meat and then slice it along with a sliced tomato. My daughter is back to drinking protein shakes, the kitchen stays cooler; a win win for all.

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    1. Mmmm. Ceviche. Love it. And I've been indulging in poke bowls... white rice topped with raw fish marinated in sesame oil, soy sauce, green onions and other spices. Sometimes with a little chopped mango and/or red onion and/or anything you've got in the veggie bin and/or cold cellophane noodles instead of rice.

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  13. Hallie, this sounds easy enough for even me! I long ago gave up doing anything in the kitchen that involves more than three steps, and four ingredients. (Painful orthopedic issues that get aggravated by standing.) I can see myself partly preparing the veggies a day ahead.

    On hot days when I don’t feel like cooking, I just throw together a salad and dump some water-packed tuna into it. I have central a/c but I seem to crave simpler meals when it’s hot out!

    DebRo

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  14. What great ideas, and we love gazpacho. I’ll make it with pretty much any salad veggie in the fridge. Julia teased me when I served a supermarket cooked chicken as the always made from scratch person but I love short cuts and am embracing poke bowls - Celia

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  15. Thanks for the directions, Hallie. Sounds delicious to me, but husband prefers his soups hot or his salads solid. No pleasing him.

    Our go-to hot weather dinner is BLTs, with the bacon made in the microwave.

    A couple of years ago, though, I started making Nicoise salads with tomatoes, fresh green beans lightly steamed, hardcooked eggs, and canned tuna, along with some sliced black olives. It's really refreshing on a hot night with a crisp white, and everything but the tuna and eggs comes from my garden.

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  16. HALLIE: Thank you for sharing your recipes. Sounds yummy! I tend to eat cashew ice cream on hot nights. I am trying to recall what are our family go to foods for hot nights? When I was in college, I remember that I lived in a house where the housemother and the cooks would put together cold cuts for sandwiches on hot nights instead of cooking on the stove.

    Diana

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  17. With husband still in Texas I don't have to worry about cooking. On a hot night a sandwich and a cold glass of wine or beer will do me just fine.

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  18. I'm with Karen, choosing a BLT in the heat of summer. But Hallie, your recipe sounds great! It can easily be put together in the morning and chilled all day. I suspect it only gets better i time. A week or so ago in the paper I read a recipe for cold cucumber soup. That might be good too, but the cucumbers in my garden are not looking too good.

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  19. Our menu includes fresh corn and tomatoes. Several times a week. Add a couple of air fried drumsticks or a handful of shrimp and we have dinner. Last week I made a peach pie, and that’s the only time the oven has been on all summer. I air fry almost every thing Last night I cleaned out the veggie bin and made a huge salad, accompanied by deviled eggs for a protein fix. Having the CSA has made a difference in our diet and weight! So many different veggies and we need to eat them all!

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  20. Hallie I love this recipe! I can stand at the kitchen counter all day chopping as long as I have a fan on me - just don't ask me to stir anything boiling in a pot!

    Though boiling pasta is my baseline summer dinner. I'll make a HUGE pot of macaroni or shells (in the morning, if it's going to be really hot) and then use 1/3 of them for a pasta salad, freezing the other 2/3rds for later meals. Depending on what I chop up and toss in, it will be Greek, Italian, Mexican, French or all-American.

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    1. JULIA: You are way braver than I am. It would not occur to me to use the stove on a hot day nor turn on the crockpot. I tend to fix a green salad or spinach salad on hot days. I always want to eat more vegetables /fruits and drink lots of water on hot days.

      Diana

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    2. Right where this blog post began: nothing beats gazpacho on a hot night. I use spicy V-8 juice and add freshly ground pepper. The other favorite around here is a cold cucumber soup. Yes, thinly slice cucumber is simmered in butter and then canned chicken broth is added with lemon juice and salt and pepper. But that's not much work. When it's all soft, into a blender or processor. Whisk in lots of sour cream and chill until cold. Perks up the appetite when it's really too darn hot to eat. I've tried lots of cold soups over the year. All delicious but these two old recipes (decades old!) still stand out.

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  21. At this time of year, my favorite cold dishes all have to include tomatoes because the freezer is rapidly filling with homemade sauce for those winter nights when I can bask in the taste of the previous summer. My sister spends a lot of time in Greece and she is scornful of what we call "Greek salad." Her description inspired me to try something recently that my guests loved: equal amounts of halved cherry tomatoes and good feta cheese, crumbled, in a bowl with dried Greek oregano, coarsely chopped Greek olives, a reasonable amount of crushed garlic, enough good olive oil to almost but not quite resemble a marinade, salt and pepper. Baguette to sop up the flavored olive oil, of course. (Susan C Shea)

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  22. I have to go with Karen on the BLTs in summer. We love the fresh, local-grown tomatoes on them, which we can't get the rest of the year. We enjoy zucchini fixed different ways in the summer and cool as a cucumber cumbers. And, also it's a no to cold soup. We save our soup for cool or cold weather and eat vegetable beef and potato soup, and although chili is not really a soup, it's big in the winter, too.

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    1. BLTs several times a week natch! Only good tomatoes up here on the tundra happen in late summer. I can’t get enough of them!

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  23. Oh, my! Memory of a watermelon gazpacho…so cool and so good. Bliss for summer. Elisabeth

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  24. Ice cream!!! Although your recipe sounds delish, too!

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  25. Hank Phillippi RyanAugust 24, 2022 at 6:10 PM

    Late again! Running a little on empty this week, you all. Gazpacho, brilliant! I totally forgot. Let’s see if I have the V8. BLTs, yes yes yes, absolutely go to, and I am thinking about that for tonight in fact. I also love prosciutto and melon, it is lovely and salty sweet, and easy.
    Wait, Julia! You can freeze cooked pasta?

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  26. I’m impressed with all these ladies who slave away in the kitchen. I’m more with Hank prosciutto and melon. Avocado stuffed with bay shrimp. ( Rhys)

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  27. Love "the truth costs money" and love gazpacho!

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  28. Gazpacho, Vegetarian Borscht, Greek Salad, Antipasto, Caprese Salad, Napa Cabbage Salad, Macaroni Salad with Tuna or Chicken.

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  29. What is this obsession with basil (caprese salad)? Like cumin, I am allergic. Plus, both basil and cumin STINK. (I know some people have a problem with cilantroh.) The point is not to force these things on people.

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