Yay! Spring is here! I know this to be true because last night my roomie and I finally got to enjoy our first outdoor meal this year. The best part about the meal, besides the warm air and plethora of sunlight, was that I didn't have to cook ;) I got to sit back, stuff my face with cheese and wine, while my roommate prepared a yummy light meal of gazpacho and salad. In under 30 minutes! He also brought home a loaf of bread from La Brea Bakery which we smothered in Manchego and Brie cheese. Two of my favorites! It all made me feel very European, and I loved it.
I've never made gazpacho before but was surprised by how simple and quick it was. We didn't follow a recipe but I can tell you roughly what he used: An array of 6-7 tomatoes (Heirloom & Campari) 1 cucumber, a green bell pepper, 3 cloves of garlic, (should have used 2) olive oil, half a lemon juiced, a few basil leaves and salt and pepper. He seeded the cucumber and tomatoes, then threw everything into a blender until it was nicely pureed. We checked the seasoning, played with the flavors a bit, then put the blender filled with the gazpacho in the fridge to chill, and voila! We had ourselves a refreshing, extra garlicky soup.
Our fabulous dinner al fresco!
We used the clover sprouts, heirloom tomatoes and lettuce that I picked up at the farmers market earlier this week. To comply with the European feel of the evening, I simply squeezed lemon juice added a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper to make a light and refreshing dressing. I know. SO European.
We garnished the gazpacho with some high quality extra virgin olive oil and a sprig of basil. I haven't always been a fan of cold soup but a good gazpacho will make you see the light.
I ate more of this than I care to admit :)
I hope this inspires many more outdoor meals to come, for you and for me. Happy Spring everyone!