Gazpacho and food processors were made for each other. Laborious dicing is reduced to a few blasts of the pulse control. Just don't be heavy-handed; each ingredient should remain identifiable, not be pulverized. The best part is that after scooping out whatever you've just diced, you don't have to wash the container because everything winds up in the same big bowl.
This robust, colorful gazpacho was created for a wedding by Deborah Hughes, co-owner of Upstairs on the Square in Cambridge, Mass. Unlike many gazpachos, it doesn't have a tomato juice base. It gets just enough liquid from the pesto-marinated tomatoes to justify eating it with a spoon.
If you prefer to make this dish the long way -- without a food processor -- that allows more time for the tomatoes to soak up the pesto.
Though Hughes suggests serving it at room temperature, it's also good chilled, as gazpacho is traditionally served.
If you're feeling extravagant, substitute medallions of lobster for the shrimp. With a green salad and a hearty, chewy bread, you've got a meal.
- 1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, sliced lengthwise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
- 1 bunch (1 cup tightly packed) basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 medium (10 to 12 ounces) seedless cucumber
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and cut into 6 pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper seeded and cut into 6 pieces
- 1 green bell pepper seeded and cut into 6 pieces
- 1 orange bell pepper seeded and cut into 6 pieces
- 1 bunch scallions, white parts and 1 to 2 inches of the green parts
- 1/3 red onion, cut in half
- 3 tablespoons chives, finely diced
- Lemon zest, for garnish
In a medium bowl, place the shrimp and toss with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.
Cut each tomato half into three pieces. Working in two batches, place tomatoes in the food processor and pulse several times until they are diced. Transfer tomatoes to large bowl and set aside.
In the food processor, combine the basil, garlic, salt, sugar, vinegar and the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil and process until smooth to form a pesto. Add to the tomatoes and set aside.
Score the cucumber with a fork, cut in half crosswise and lengthwise. Place in the food processor and pulse several times until diced. Transfer the cucumber to a separate, medium-size bowl.
Working in two batches, place the bell peppers in the food processor and pulse several times until diced. Add the peppers to the cucumber.
Place scallions in the food processor and pulse several times until diced, then add to cucumber mixture. Do the same for the red onion. Add chives to the cucumber mixture and stir. Combine the cucumber and tomato mixtures and mix well.
Just before serving, add shrimp. Garnish with lemon zest.
Adapted from "Great Women Chefs," by Julie Stillman (Turner Publishing Inc., 1996).
Tested by Marcia Kramer.
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