By Jonathan Oak
It’s summer and it’s scorching outside and everything I can think of eating sounds greasy and heavy and hot and bleh. I want something light and fresh but more than just a piece of fruit, something that tastes like a little effort was put into it.
So I start scrounging around the kitchen, thinking about my wife upstairs, thinking about making healthy things for her that maker her feel good, grabbing anything that looks tasty off the table or out of the fridge, and an idea starts forming in my head. She loves gazpacho soup. I’ll make her a breakfasty morning version of it with a bit of sweet and a bit of savory and a lot of goodness for her tired morning belly.
One of the fun things about making Gazpacho is how flexible it is. So try it with different fruits, maybe some strawberries, maybe a bit of watermelon. I would shy away from bananas, but otherwise go nuts, figuratively, and clear out that crisper drawer in your fridge.
1 cup of halved black or red grapes
1 cup of chopped cucumber
1 Celery stalk
1/4 of a small onion.
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro.
Splash of apple cider vinegar (or the juice of one lime, if you have one handy)
Big Splash of Pomegranate vinegar.
Splash of grapeseed oil.
Dash of salt and pepper.
Start by getting out the big old mixing bowl that you inherited from your mom. Everyone has one. You’re going to toss everything in together as you get it cut up. Wash all your fruits and vegetables, get your good knife and a decent chopping block out and center yourself like a zen master before a raw vegan feast.
Then halve your grapes. It’s a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. Here is a nice video on how to cut lots of gapes in half all at once. I’m never going back.
Grape halves are about the right size for this dish, so give your pluot, plum, apple and cucumber a medium chop. You want to make sure you can fit a good selection of items on your spoon with each bite. Once your apple is diced and in the bowl, juice that lime over the top of it or splash the whole thing with some apple cider vinegar to keep them nice and white and fresh looking.
Finely dice your celery and onion. We especially want the onion a little smaller so you don’t get a big hit of onion on accident.
Rough chop the cilantro. Toss it in and splash the dish with oil. I like grapeseed oil because it has a mild flavor and lots of vitamin E, but a touch of light olive oil would be nice, too. The oil will keep the cilantro nice and green and keep the cut edges from getting dark.
Pomegranate vinegar is my favorite thing about this dish. I don’t have a lot of call to use it. I bought it on a whim thinking I would come up with something. And it was a dollar. You know what they say, if you buy enough bondage you will find someone to help you use it. The same goes for vinegar. Buy lots of different kinds and be inventive. Like bondage.
Add salt and pepper to that big bowl of yummy.
Now taste. Now adjust. You are probably going to want a bit more of the pomegranate vinegar than you think. You are probably going to be reluctant to add salt to fruit and so you may find that you haven’t added enough. These two ingredients are the key to tying the fruits and vegetables together, so taste and cautiously adjust until you are happy with it.
This great big bowl of gazpacho you have made will seem like a lot of food, but trust me, it’s just enough to share with a friend or two.