The humidity of this current summer has called for some cool creative cooking or uncooking as the case may be. I have lived off salad greens with homemade dressings, smoothies, and gazpacho.
This last batch of gazpacho took me back East to my days in Boston. The summers I spent there weren’t unbearable, but I would make gallons of gazpacho with my handy dandy handblender. Returning with bags of produce from Haymarket, I spent my weekends and every evening in the kitchen combining this amazing bounty into dinners. I would sit on my back porch sipping the cool liquid with a little jalapeno bite while my cats lounged under or chased squirrels in our canopy of trees.
So today with my hand dandy Blendtec blender I conjured up some memories with 3 Beefsteak tomatoes, 1 red pepper, ½ medium yellow onion, ½ English cucumber, juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime, ½ cup liquid from some jalapeno sweet pickles (Can use a sliver of jalapeno and a dollop of honey), ½ cup Italian parsley (stems and leaves), 8-10 small red dandelion leaves, a pinch or two of pink Himalayan salt, 1 cup or more of water. (From the veggies above, I minced by hand ½ a tomato, ¼ red pepper, ¼ of the cucumber and added those to the pureed mix)
Thanks to the dandelion leaves this version won’t be the light bright red of a traditional gazpacho, it will be brown. The dandelion leaves are internally cooling and a diuretic and a great toning medicinal for the Liver, high in Vitamins A, K and calcium and iron. The parsley is high in Vitamins C and A and folic acid and increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.