“I have chosen to give the more traditional version here,” says María Llamas, owner and manager of Alambique cooking school in Madrid, “but recipes can always be adjusted to taste.”
“Some regions, such as Extremadura, use pimentón de la Vera [a particular Spanish smoked paprika] in its spicy or sweet version, instead of cumin. Some do not like garlic in their gazpacho and prefer to add a quarter of a large onion instead. Others prefer not to add bread.”
Additions such as berries or melon should go in before the blender stage.
- 2 1/4 pounds ripe tomatoes
- 1/2 green bell pepper
- 1 cucumber
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon salt
- A few cumin seeds
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sherry or wine vinegar
- 2 slices day-old bread, without the crust
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cups cold water
Wash the tomatoes and pepper and peel the cucumber. De-seed the pepper. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, pepper, and cucumber, reserving half of a tomato and a small amount of pepper and cucumber to finely dice for garnish.
With a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt and cumin. Place the resulting paste in a bowl with the vinegar, and then add the bread, oil, and the chopped vegetables. Add ice-cold water and let it steep for at least 30 minutes, but preferably two hours in the fridge.
Puree the mixture in a blender and adjust the seasoning to taste. Strain the mixture and place in the fridge to cool down.
According to Llamas, gazpacho should be served very cold, and can be garnished with finely diced green pepper, cucumber, tomato, and bread, or also finely chopped Iberian ham and boiled egg. Often you will have it in a small serving glass.
Recipe from María Llamas and Alambique Cooking School in Madrid