Vanna’s husband, The Engineer,

Above, the Engineer

is also….a farmer!  The other day, Vanna brought homegrown tomatoes and potatoes to share from the garden which The Engineer has carefully tended for several months.  The first thing I wanted to do was go home with them and make Gazpacho, that tasty cold ‘soup’  which I had not made for many years, but love.

So, I looked it up on the internets and decided to make this recipe which Alton Brown had posted:


Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Good Eats
American Slicer

Yield:4 servings

Ingredients–get everything set out before you begin.  Chop and measure everything, too.
1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (see below)

These 3 made 1 1/2 pounds of tomato–the one on the right is from the store (not nearly as good!) but I had it to use.

Tomato juice

I had this, so I used it.

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

English cucumber–less seeds. To scrape out the seeds, just use a spoon. It took about 1/2 one of these cucumbers to make 1 cup.  I used the whole thing.

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper–I used about 1/2 of one red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

     I had saved some leftover jalapeño (frozen, from a can), so I used about a tablespoon.

1 medium garlic clove, minced–I had some in the refrigerator already minced, used about 1 teaspoon

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
1 teaspoon kosher salt**  (go easy on the salt!  I thought it was a tiny bit too salty–and I had added only about 1/4 teaspoon of salt)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade–note I used purple basil (from the garden)
Directions (and I’ve inserted my own photos, but if you go to the website, you can watch Alton make this recipe on a video).
Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.


Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes.   Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath

  I do this in the sink–scoop up the tomatoes out of the hot water with a slotted spoon.

and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry.

Peel (the skins will slip off starting where you made the “x” on the bottom of each tomato), core and seed the tomatoes.

The seeds and core are in the strainer, the rest of the tomatoes are in the bowl.

When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through (use the back of a spoon) as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.

I only had to add about 1/4 cup of tomato juice to make a cup.

Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed.

Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil (which you have grown and harvested from the herb garden in your backyard, right?  Right!)


Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2007

Read more at:


And for supper last night, we had this salad–fresh and delicious!

  Caprese salad–sliced homegrown tomatoes with mozzarella and homemade pesto.  Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Thank you to Vanna and the Engineer!


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