Monday, August 28, 2006

Yellow Cherry Tomato Gazpacho

The gazpacho pictured above pleased me more than any of the dozens of other versions produced in our kitchen. Despite the intention of moving forward with posts about products from the Fancy Food Show or meals enjoyed on my recent motor trip around North America, seasonality dictates that today’s post---and the one to follow---come first. Despite appearing more like a green tomato gazpacho, the only tomatoes here are those light yellow cherry tomatoes referenced in yesterday’s farmers’ market post. The only “green” ingredients are cilantro leaves that were part of the main recipe, some peeled cucumber, and chives to garnish. I’m no expert on the workings of color palettes, but my hunch is that the red bell pepper played a factor.

Let me confess that twice in the past, I was inspired by and attempted to prepare “Gazpacho Gold,” from Neil Stuart’s Pacifica Blue Plates, published in 1992 by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, CA. Unable to source the called for “rice wine vinegar” I opted rice vinegar. What resulted was too tart for my tastebuds. I tried again, cutting the amount of vinegar by one-third. Still too tart.

Yesterday, by mixing five tablespoons of rice vinegar with three tablespoons of mirin, I ended up with just the right amount of my own “rice wine vinegar,” though deliberately less than called for in Pacifica Blue Plates. No more need to experiment.


3 pints yellow cherry tomatoes—as spherical and “whitish” yellow as possible
1 clove garlic
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, chopped
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
½ cup jicama, diced
½ red onion, diced
5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons mirin
¼ cup dry white (grape) wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons coarse salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

In a food processor or blender, combine all of the yellow tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, and half of the diced peppers, cucumber, jicama, and red onion; process until liquefied. Remove to a mixing bowl, add the remaining half of the diced vegetables, the vinegar, wine, and oil. Stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Chill. When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and garnish each with a tablespoon of sour cream and the chives.