I'm a firm believer that some things are best done by hand. Knit scarves, written love letters, chopped vegetables.
my parents often tease that, when i was a child, they would always buy double the number of bell peppers required for a recipe - as i would invariably wind up eating a entire one as they tried to chop it. i was obsessed with the refreshing flavor and the bright crunch. to this day, i'm still enamored of any bell pepper and, in particular, the sweet ruby reds. now anna & i play out this tableau. she sneaks her hand into the pepper pile. we each escalate our attacks. i learn to block her darting hand with my shoulders, my body. she gets faster, sneakier. she usually wins.
and even if she doesn't, at the end, i always save her a few slices.
gazpacho was the first thing i ever made for anna after moving to new york. i've made it every year in the summer, doubling and tripling the recipe and living for the following week on endless bowls and toasted bread. i leave the empty bowls next to the couch, terrible at doing dishes.
gazpacho (loosely adapted from the moosewood cookbook)
48 oz tomato juice
16 oz watermelon puree
3 bell peppers, preferably one green, one yellow, and one red, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 english cucumber, diced
1 cubanelle pepper, diced
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chiffonaded
2 limes, zested and juiced (set aside 2 tbsp of lime juice for the avocado cream)
4 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. red chili flakes
salt & pepper to taste
1 avocado, ripe but firm
4 oz greek yogurt
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
puree and strain the watermelon. any strainer will work well, ideally use something very fine such as a chinois or through a cheesecloth. combine the watermelon juice with the tomato juice in a very large bowl. combine all remaining ingredients. set aside, the flavor will continue to develop with time. refrigerate & allow to set for at least one hour.
pit the avocado and dice flesh. combine with remaining lime juice in a food processor and puree until smooth. mix in the greek yogurt until fully combined.
serve cold, with avocado cream placed in the center of the bowl.