Gazpacho • Romaine with Roasted Potatoes, Corn, and Pimentón Vinaigrette • Levain Rolls • Whole Wheat-Walnut Sablées
Hello friends! It felt good to cook again—I don’t think any of you guys would believe how little cooking I did over the last eight weeks. We’ve been eating takeout and convenience foods, with occasional rescues of real food from my parents. Last weekend, the kids and I were talking about what to have for dinner and Poppy said, “Why don’t you just cook dinner?” Ouch. But it was good to take a break, and now I’m full of cooking energy.
We’re starting off the new soup season with gazpacho. I usually like this deliciously cold soup when it’s hot outside. I know the actual weather is only in the low 70s, but holy moly is it hot inside my house when I have to keep all the doors and windows shut against the smoke. I like the original Andalusian puréed version rather than the California chunky soup; I especially like to drink it out of a glass rather than using a bowl and spoon.
Gazpacho is as much salad as it is soup, just tons of vegetables blended together with olive oil, vinegar, and garlic. Carmen Maura, playing Pepa in the Almódovar film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, gives us the recipe: “Tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, a bit of garlic…oil, salt, stale bread, water.” (Do you remember that excellent film? She adds a bottleful of tranquilizers to hers. I obviously did not.)
I bought two cases of tomatoes—a twenty-pound case of dry-farmed Early Girls from Tomatero, and a ten-pound flat of mixed heirlooms from Balakian Farms. The cucumbers came from my parents’ garden! To make the soup gluten-free, I replaced the traditional bread with almonds. They don’t emulsify the soup quite as well as bread—you’ll have to give the jar a quick shake before you serve it—but they have the advantage of adding nutrient-dense protein and a hint of creaminess. To garnish the soup and add a little bit of texture, if you like, there’s a salsa of green onions, tomato, bell pepper, and parsley.
The salad has fresh corn grown by Tim at Amber Oaks Farm. He calls it pirate corn, because “it’s a buck an ear.” (Ba-dum tish.) The salad also has potatoes roasted with garlic and smoked paprika, and there’s more smoked paprika in the dressing. Yum!
Dessert is another yum. My favorite type of cookie, buttery-sandy sablées; this time made with half whole wheat flour and the addition of toasted walnuts.
Welcome back, everyone. Enjoy your supper.