Stephanie Ganz is one of my closest friends. The summer we became friends I had just had a baby. I’ll never forget Stephanie and her daughter, Lily, delivering a meal to our home to assuage the challenge of brand-new parenthood. In it was a quart of her gazpacho, inspired by that made at the Wildflour Restaurant & Bakery in Roanoke, Virginia, the town where Stephanie grew up. Fresh, bright, chunky, tart, and crisp, Fred and I stood over our kitchen sink and essentially inhaled it. In both taste and texture, it’s like an ode to Summer. Now, every year Fred and I look forward to tomato season and the annual “Ganzpacho”!
Gazpacho - a.k.a. Ganzpacho
Serves 6 as an appetizer; makes about 6 cups
Recipe by Stephanie Ganz
Total Prep Time: 50 minutes
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes
- 2 to 3 tomatoes (about 1 pound), quartered, seeded, and diced
- 2 green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- ½ medium-size yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 jalapeño pepper, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, crushed well in a mortar with a pestle or in a spice grinder
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- 2½ cups tomato juice, or more to taste
Combine the tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, cucumber, onion, and jalapeño pepper with the basil, parsley, cilantro, garlic, cumin, wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and a sprinkle each of salt and black pepper. Let the vegetable mixture sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will render an essential “salad juice” that greatly improves the gazpacho, so don’t skip this step by pouring the tomato juice on just yet.
While the vegetables are resting, about 20 minutes, soak the sourdough bread in ½ cup of the tomato juice. In a blender or using an immersion blender, process the mixture until liquefied.
Add the tomato juice and bread mixture and the remaining 2 cups of tomato juice to the vegetable mixture, taste for seasoning, adding more salt and black pepper as necessary, and refrigerate the gazpacho until well chilled, at least 1 hour.
Photo by Frederick Turko