This Greek style gazpacho landed on our table this past weekend because of two reasons.
- Summer is on it’s way out and with it goes all those plump, juicy, perfectly-imperfect heirloom tomatoes.
- We’re getting ready for our trip to Greece and I’ve got Greek flavors dancing in my head non-stop.
So what better way to combine those two than to blend up a refreshing Greek style gazpacho?
No better way, is the answer.
I first experienced gazpacho when we had a 24 hour side-trip to Madrid (it was an extra-long layover on a flight from Greece to the US a few years back.
To sum it up, it was love at first bite. I LOVE soup and eat it year-round, but the gazpacho had cool, refreshing, salad qualities like I’d never gotten from soup.
I thought it was brilliant, and it quickly became one of our favorite summertime lunches.
For this gazpacho, I deviated slightly from the classic Spanish ingredients and went with flavors found in traditional Greek salad.
Here in America, Greek salad usually means a plate of lettuce topped with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, feta, olives, and peppers–which is delicious, don’t get me wrong. But the real deal salads in Greece skip the lettuce and double up on those juicy tomatoes and cucumbers.
And they’re all covered generously in amazingly fresh olive oil.
To make this non-fussy version of gazpacho, I didn’t bother to remove the skin or seeds from the tomatoes– I just threw them right in the blender with everything else.
After everything is all blended, you can leave your gazpacho rustic, or strain it for a smoother soup.
To add some protein and crunch I went all in and roasted up some crispy chickpeas. You could skip the roasting and just add cooked chickpeas, or do like I did the next day with leftovers and have your gazpacho with some grilled shrimp!
One step that I highly recommend is making the gazpacho and letting it sit overnight in the fridge (or at least a couple of hours). The flavors really develop into something magical when you let them hang out for a while.
I really feel like those late summer tomatoes are destined for a smooth Greek style gazpacho, what do you think?
- 2.5 cups tomatoes cored and roughly chopped (I used 1 large and 1 small heirloom tomato)
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 2 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 1-2 tsp honey (optional)*
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- drizzle of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, adding a little bit more water as needed and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
- For a smoother gazpacho, strain the mixture through a strainer or a food mill, pushing all the liquid through with a spatula or the back of a ladle.
- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, and ideally overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Dry chickpeas off on a paper towel, and transfer to a cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and shake to coat the chickpeas.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.
- Remove from the oven. The chickpeas will get crispy as they cool.
- Serve gazpacho cold, and garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, crumbled feta, and crispy chickpeas. Add an additional drizzle of olive oil if desired.
*Depending on how sweet your tomatoes are, you may want to add a touch of honey.
Crispy chickpeas adapted from Food Network
Don't let me do all the talking! Let me know what you think in the comments.