Cherry Gazpacho – from Running To The Kitchen

Hey guys! So, tomorrow is the big day – dunn duh DUH!! – but since I’m away getting married on the surface of the sun and trying to not asphyxiate on the wildfire pollution here in Eastern Washington I have a keep-you-cool and sassy recipe from the one and only Gina of Running to the Kitchen.

Most of you will know her from the PW Wednesday series and ever since meeting her I feel like I have met my match in a filterless friend. She says everything that I wish I could but I clearly lack the lady balls to go let it roll off my tongue, or my fingers as it were. Since I’m always typing? Yeah…you pick up what I’m throwin’ down. Always hilarious, and producing drool worthy healthy dishes that inspire me to get off my duff (see, she would have said “ass”), I couldn’t think of anyone better to share today’s post with you. Thank you Gina for being a constant source of entertainment, friendship and hunger. The healthy kind.

Hey Country Cleaver-ers! I’m Gina from Running to the Kitchen and I’m psyched to help Megan out while she’s off being all lovey-dovey newleywed-ish. Just wait 6 years hun, before you know it you’ll be spending your nights in separate rooms while one of you blogs and the other plays video games with “friends” on the internet. I have no idea who that couple is, but it’s what they say or something…

So, let’s switch gears before I get in a marital fight over the internet.

Gazpacho.

Are you a lover or a hater?

I feel like gazpacho is almost up there with cilantro among polarizing foods. If you’re a hater, sorry, you’re out of luck today. Lovers, listen up….cherries. In your gazpacho. It’s a thing. Let’s do it.

I spent a semester in college living abroad in Malaga, Spain. It was 4 months filled with amazingly hot Spanish men (who I could barely understand), this song in every.single.club (you’re welcome for that awesomeness), ridiculous Spanish telenovelas (soap operas) and the best gazpacho on this planet.

Maria, the housekeeper for the family I lived with, made a huge pot of gazpacho at the beginning of every week and we’d eat it before our main meal of the day around 3:30pm. Best part of my day, hands down. I wasn’t really into food as much back then. Well eating it, yes, but not making it, learning about it or being smart enough to get that recipe from her. It’s seriously one of my life’s biggest regrets. I’ve never even come close to tasting anything like it in the states. In fact, I flat out refuse to order gazpacho from a restaurant in this country anymore. 95% of the time it’s loaded with raw onions. Ew. Ew,ew,ew,ew. That’s how I feel about raw onions. Gazpacho should be about the tomatoes, not nasty raw onions that you end up tasting for 3 days after consuming.

So, I either make my own or just dream about life abroad, living 5 minutes from the beach and Maria’s gazpacho.

This time I threw in some cherries. They were on sale, it’s summer, why not?

Best idea ever. It turns the super refreshing cold soup juuuuust slightly sweet and makes you want to gobble it up with abandon.

I don’t know if Maria would approve, but I also doubt she’d even remember that weird American that showered twice as often as everyone else in the house and secretly snuck spoonfuls of gazpacho from the fridge at night so, whatever.

Yield: 4

Cherry Gazpacho

Ingredients:

Ingredients:
2 small cucumbers (or 1 large), chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 slice wheat bread, torn into pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup tart cherry juice or POM
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, toss to combine and let sit for 30 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a blender in batches and puree until smooth.
Pour into a large bowl, stir, cover and chill for at least an hour.
Serve cold garnished with basil and cherries.

Gina Matsoukas