Monday, July 18, 2011
Gazpacho & Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pin Wheels
Gazpacho is the quintessential summer meal. A cold tomato soup originating in Southern Spain from the sunny region of Andalusia. Gazpacho can be pureed until smooth or served chunky - with a variety of diced vegetables. You can give a Mexican twist to the Gazpacho soup by adding some diced avocado and jalapeno peppers. After preparing the gazpacho soup, refrigerate in an airtight container for at least 30 minutes in order to blend flavors; the soups flavors intensify the longer it rests.
I paired my Gazpacho with Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pinwheels. The flavor of the sun dried tomatoes, sweet and tangy with the balance of the cream cheese and basil, made for a satisfying and delicious meal. Their also really pretty!
To make the meal sing with excitement, as though it wasn't exciting enough already; a fine glass of red wine is a must. I had to search my wine cellar...(about 12 bottles) to find a fitting red and alas, I didn't have one Spanish wine in the bunch. I decided on a French 2001 Appellation Saint~Joseph Offerus. A Rhône wine offering a powerful, earthy, gamey expression of a Syrah with a cherry finish. The full flavor of the wine stood up beautifully against the acidity of the tomato based soup.
3 - 4 cups tomato juice
6 vine ripe plum tomatoes chopped
1 large cucumber seeded and peeled
1/2 large purple onion thinly sliced
2 clove garlic
1 celery rib chopped
1 red pepper seeded and chopped
1 green pepper seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup grape seed oil
juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil chiffonade
Chop tomatoes coarsley, seed and peel cucumber and rough dice, chop celery, onion, peppers, jalapeno and add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine, salt and pepper to taste, add hot sauce to taste (optional).
Chunky Gazpacho: Pulse 2 cups of vegetables in a blender, do not puree, return blended soup to mixing bowl and stir to combine, chill soup for 30 minutes before serving. Soup is best if made a day ahead.
Basil Chiffonade: layer 5-6 fresh basil leaves and roll into toothpick shape, slice thinly crosswise, garnish soup and serve
1 package jalapeno flavored flour tortillas, giant size
1 package Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups sun dried tomatoes
Spread cream cheese evenly onto flour tortilla, about 3 tablespoons for each tortilla, pinch basil leaves off of stems and place on top of the cream cheese, sprinkle sun dried tomatoes over leaves, roll tortilla tightly and slice into pinwheels.
Serve Pinwheels with Gazpacho or as an appetizer.