My favorite gazpacho is Jose Andres’s recipe. There’s a version without bread that I’m particularly fond of…I think it’s his mother’s. I make a batch a week during the summer and garnish with chopped cucumbers and either leftover grilled chicken or shrimp because I don’t want to warm up the kitchen.
I’ve been using a variation on Colman Andrews’s recipe from Catalan Cuisine.
1-1/2 lbs. dead ripe heirloom tomatoes
ripe peppers (I’ve been using the gypsy peppers from our CSA box)
red onion, preferably fresh
garlic, preferably hard-stem red
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
salt to taste
Process until smooth and chill.
Andrews calls for peeling the cucumbers (which would surely be a good idea with varieties that have tough, bitter skins) and straining it, but I like the texture as is.
I buy so many tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers this time of year. When they start getting soft, I chop them, put them in the blender glass, salt them, then let it sit for a while, then blend with bread, or not. Maybe strain it over a bowl of toasted bread.
I don’t use garlic or onion, and I always stir in the olive oil in a bowl, after blending. Else it gets too bitter.
I call those Persian cucumbers and use them when they come in our CSA box.
A farmers market vendor I buy from sells another variety they call Armenian. They’re dark green, kind of pockmarked, and usually feel slightly wilted, though they’re not. Best cucumbers at the market. I’ll try to remember to post a photo next time I see them.