late summer is the best time of year for tomatoes. my CSA box has been providing me with the most beautiful heirloom tomato varieties, which has inspired me to come up with lots of ways to use them. my absolute favorite is to eat them straight out of the box, sliced, drizzled with some good extra virgin olive oil and finished with sea salt. heirloom tomato heaven!
we are very fortunate to live a short distance from the ocean. one of our favorite pastimes is to gather a few friends and watch the sunset at the beach while enjoying some good food & wine. i’m always looking for new recipes to make that are delicious and portable. gazpacho is definitely one of those dishes that can be served cold or at room temperature. it packs easily and can be made for a few or for a crowd.
the best reason to make gazpacho is that it is so easy–throw fresh vegetables and tomatoes into a blender, add some seasonings–and a few pulses later you have a simple, fresh, cold soup that is both healthy and refreshing. my version of gazpacho is a little less simple…it’s grilled. i even grilled the avocado garnish. it takes a little extra time, but the outcome was so worth it.
- cool and refreshing
- super flavorful
this dish is best made with heirloom tomatoes found at your local farmer’s market. prepare it rustic and chunky, or puree until smooth for a more elegant presentation. it is well worth the extra time to grill the vegetables, as they add a smoky twist to this classic dish. serve it with some grilled shrimp, crusty bread, and a crisp sauvignon blanc for a late summer picnic with friends.Print
Grilled Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
this salad is best when made with the heirloom tomatoes found at your local farmer’s market. prepare it chunky and rustic, or puree until smooth for a more elegant presentation. the grilled vegetables add a smoky twist to this classic soup. serve it with some grilled shrimp and a crisp sauvignon blanc for a late summer picnic or a meal in the backyard with friends.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 - 6 1x
- 4 to 6 heirloom tomatoes (about 2 lbs) – quartered and seeded
- 1 sweet red bell pepper – halved and seeded
- 3 zucchini – halved horizontally
- 2 large shallots – peeled and halved
- 1 pint/basket cherry tomatoes (preferably heirloom)
- 1 large english cucumber – peeled, seeded and diced
- 1 avocado – halved and sliced
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced, reserve 1 tablespoon
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic – chopped
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- kosher or sea salt to season
- freshly ground black pepper to season
- smoked sea salt to finish
- brush heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, red bell pepper and shallots with reserved olive oil, then season lightly with salt and pepper. grill the tomatoes and red bell peppers for 10 minutes over medium heat and the zucchini and shallots for 5 minutes. remove them from grill and let them cool slightly.
- dice one of the grilled zucchini and set aside. place the remaining grilled vegetables into the blender or food processor and pulse until desired texture is reached. i typically prefer mine chunky, which requires about 5 – 6 pulses. pour the mixture into a large non-reactive bowl.
- combine the cherry tomatoes with the 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar and the lemon juice in the blender or food processor. puree until smooth. pour mixture into the bowl and combine with the grilled vegetables. fold the diced cucumber and zucchini into the soup.
- chill the soup for 4 – 6 hours or overnight. the flavors will become stronger as the soup is allowed to sit. season with salt and pepper to taste before plating and serving.
- brush the reserved lemon juice and olive oil onto the avocado slices, then season lightly with salt and pepper. grill the avocado for about 4 minutes. allow avocado to cool then dice into 1-inch pieces.
- serve in bowls topped with grilled avocado, lemon zest and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. if desired, finish with smoked sea salt.
Crusty grilled bread makes a fine accompaniment to this refreshing chilled soup.