A Best of the Besties and a Cure for a Worstie

The beautifully set table at Chris and Sharon’s – and the delicious gazpacho.  If you’re from Sonoma you may recognize the bread from Mike the Bejkr.uIt’s been a while since we published a Best of the Besties.  At a dinner party last week we had a marvelous gazpacho – with avocado as the surprise ingredient; it was the perfect recipe for the late summer garden bounty.  Thanks to Besties Sharon and Chris for the recipe (see it below).

And we bemoaned – in our last blog – about the yucky things that disturb our flower and vegetable gardens, including the water-needy roots from a eucalyptus tree.

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Neighboring eucalyptus tree, enjoying the moisture from our flower garden

Here is one sure-fire cure for those pesky eucalyptus roots.  Just be sure your neighbors are ok with this.


Avocado and Tomato Gazpacho

The easy way to peel tomatoes is to drop them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then into ice water.  Serving the gazpacho in small drinking glasses is a fun alternative to soup bowls. Recipe adapted from Martha Rose Shulman.

  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and halved
  • 1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes, cored and peeled; delicious, peak-of-the-season tomatoes are a must
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, to taste
  • 2 heaped tablespoons coarsely chopped red or white onion, soaked for five minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine vinegar 
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika 
  • ½ to 1 cup ice water, depending on how thick you want your soup to be
  •  Kosher salt
  •  freshly ground pepper

Garnish each bowl before serving with one or more of the following:

  • ½ cup finely chopped cucumber(more to taste)
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomato (more to taste)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley, or fresh basil or parsley leaves
  • ½ cup finely chopped green pepper
  • ½ cup small croutons

Combine the avocado, tomatoes, garlic, onion, olive oil, vinegar, paprika and salt in a blender, and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour into a bowl or pitcher, thin out as desired with ice water, cover and chill for several hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the garnishes and add to the each individual dish of gazpacho before serving.

Recipe brought to you by Chris and Sharon and BigLittleMeals.com.

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