Our rendition of this Spanish classic would be closest to their Andaluz version where tomatoes, fresh summer vegetables, good bread, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar are the stars. It should go without saying that the end result is all about the 'quality of the ingredients' being used - especially if you use the freshest tomatoes you can find at your local farmers' market, or in your garden - so make this in the height of summer and early fall when the veggies are at their peak!
Although traditionally all of the ingredients would have been ground laboriously in a mortar, using a blender or food processor works. While the flavors of the farm fresh ingredients are bright enough to serve right away, the Gazpacho will be even better if you allow its flavor to develop overnight. You can certainly add to the list of garnishes that can be used…sliced almonds, ground cumin, fresh corn, ham, avocado, fresh herbs - tarragon and parsley would work well - and scallions…but I do think there is beauty in the simplicity of the dish with just a few choice additions.
- 3 pound tomatoes, preferably fresh from your local farmers' market or your garden!
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped (avoid using hothouse cucumbers as they are too watery!)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 slice good quality French (sweet) bread, a day or so old
- 3 tablespoon KATZ Organic Chef's Pick California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoon KATZ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Agrodolce Vinegar
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Chopped tomato, cucumber, green or red bell pepper
- Toasted croutons
- Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Remove the crust from the bread, tear it into pieces, and then put it into a bowl with a couple of tablespoons of cold water.
Prepare the fresh tomatoes by quickly blanching in boiling water and immediately dropping in an ice bath, remove, peel, and gently squeeze out seeds, and chop. Put in a bowl with a teaspoon of kosher salt and put aside for 30 minutes to an hour.
Squeeze the water out of the bread and place in a blender or food processor bowl with tomatoes, - including all the tomato juices that have accumulated in this bowl - onions, peppers, garlic, cucumber and some salt and pepper to taste (be careful as you have already salted the tomatoes!).
Process for a few minutes until smooth and add the KATZ Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Agrodolce Vinegar. Then while still processing, slowly add the KATZ Chef's Pick olive oil until smooth, as if you were making a dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning and keep chilled until ready to serve. If desired, thin with some ice cold water.
Serve in bowls or glasses and top with garnishes, or pass them separately in small bowls. Enjoy!
Gastrique is a French sauce or glaze produced by a reduction of vinegar or wine, sugar, and usually a fruit. They can be a great accompaniment to rich cuts of meat and poultry such as duck breast.
Our plum gastrique combines the sweetness of our Branches Plum Preserves with the balanced acidity of KATZ Late Harvest Zinfandel Agrodolce Vinegar to create a savory sauce, a perfect compliment to the rich flavor of the duck breast. This makes an elegant fall or winter dinner served on a bed of warmed greens. (This delicious gastrique filled with the texture and flavor of Casselman plums can also be used to glaze roast quail or poured over grilled pork loin. Enjoy!)
Serves 4 to 6
To Prepare the Duck:
Season the duck breast with salt and pepper; heat a skillet over medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of the Rock Hill Ranch olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When hot, add the duck breasts, skin side down, and cook for 5 minutes, or until skin is brown and crispy. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
Drain the fat and place the pan with the breasts in the oven for 4 minutes (for medium rare). Remove from the oven and allow the breasts to rest, covered loosely with a sheet of tin foil.
To Prepare the Gastrique:
When the shallots are translucent add the sprigs of thyme and cook for thirty seconds. Add the Late Harvest Zinfandel Agrodolce Vinegar and cook the mixture until the vinegar has reduced by half.
Stir in the chicken stock and continue to cook the sauce for ten minutes, reducing again by about half. While the sauce is simmering add the Branches Plum Preserves and stir until the mixture is combined and the glaze has thickened – you want the preserves to hold their texture. Discard the thyme and season.
Thinly slice the duck breast crosswise, on an angle, set it on bed of warmed greens and spoon over the plum gastrique.
The gastrique can be covered and kept in the refrigerator for later use, and then heated again before serving.