Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seed, chop, pulse

I love cooking on Sundays but it's days like this I wish I had a stove in the basement so I could get a huge pot of marinara sauce going. I need to get a handle on this bumper crop of tomatoes.

Between the tomatoes and the elderberries - (which just will not quit!!) I have baskets and bowls of fruit everywhere.

I was up late last night canning a dozen jars of elderberry syrup (which is absolutely restaurant quality) but I couldn't face the steam from the pressure canner today.

The syrup is amazing. A concoction of merely elderberries, lemon juice and sugar, cooked down to a syrup, yet it has a rich liquor flavor. I am already imagining it drizzled around plates of decadent chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream... yum.

It's satisfying to see the pantry starting to fill up. But canning in the heat means one seriously bad hair day. So I'm making gazpacho today instead.

This cold soup requires no heat and takes care of several veggies and herbs from the garden -- cucumber, tomatoes, green pepper, onion, garlic and cilantro. It really takes the edge off the heat of the day. I usually put a jalapeno pepper in as well, but don't have any planted this season, so I substituted with Tabasco. All you need for this recipe is a knife, cutting board and Cuisinart.


4 ripe tomatoes - seeded
1/2 cucumber - seeded
1/2 green pepper - seeded
1/4 sweet onion
1-2 cloves fresh garlic
8-10 sprigs of fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 shakes of Tabasco
dash of Worcestershire
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Pulse in Cuisinart - starting with cuke, garlic, onion and pepper, adding in tomatoes, then the rest.

Serve chilled. The soup should have a light glisten of oil.  This recipe serves four.

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