One of my life-long dreams was realized when I was fortunate enough to meet Chef Jose Andres in Grand Cayman one year, when I was brought to the Cayman Cookout by my former employers, Lynne and Jim Surdyk. This is Jose’s wife’s recipe, and it is the best gazpacho I’ve ever had! Feel free to omit the garnish if you’re pressed for time.
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/2 cup Oloroso sherry
- 3/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1-inch-thick slices rustic bread
- 1/4 cup Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cucumber
- Sea salt to taste
To make the soup, combine the cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, vinegar, sherry, olive oil and 2 cups of water in a food processor or blender. Puree the ingredients until everything is well blended into a thick pink liquid. Pour the gazpacho through a medium-hole strainer into a pitcher. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
For the garnish: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes and toss in a mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Set the croutons aside to cool.
When you are ready to serve, slice the cucumber into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Put a few croutons, cherry tomato halves and cucumber ribbons in each bowl and pour the gazpacho over them. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
Serves 6 to 8